James Edgar Holmes, aged 28, who killed twelve people in a Center Movie Theater, injuring other 70 on July 20th 2012, apparently knew his actions were legally wrong, judging by the conversation he had with a psychiatrist who evaluated him.
The videotaped conversation was played in court by the shooter’s prosecutors, who want to see him on the death row, even if his lawyers have tried very hard to prove he was incapacitated at the time he committed the massacre. His attorneys repeatedly attempted to show that he was suffering from schizophrenia at the time, and, due to this condition, he was unable to distinguish between right and wrong.
Dr. William Reid, the psychiatrist who was appointed for Holmes’ evaluation had already stated that he thought the murderer was aware of his actions, in spite of his mental illness.
In the videotaped interview James Holmes said that he was fully aware that punishment would follow after murdering and injuring so many people, but it was his mission to do it anyway.
Moreover, his discourse is quite illustrative of his mental awareness at the time, given the fact that he constantly regarded his action as a crime.
The prosecutors are showing the jury his entire interview with the psychiatrist. Thus, the jurors are to watch 22 hours of recorded evaluation and make a decision regarding his mental capacity at the time.
The part shown on Monday, the 1st of June 2015, has Holmes saying that each person he killed helped him gain more self-worthiness:
“I was worth 12 more people than I was before,” he said with a tone of voice that lacked any emotion. He also added that the wounded did not count and that he tried to have as few children killed as possible. This was why he chose PG-13 movie that was shown quite late in the evening.
Therefore, given the fact that the shooter was fully aware that what he did would not go unpunished and that he killed the people to feel better about what he was worth, it cannot be said that he was completely insane at the time.
This is not only according to Dr. Reid’s statements but also according to the definition of insanity established by the Colorado Law, which regards the person as insane if he or she cannot make the difference between right and wrong due to a mental disease or defect, or he or she is unable to form the intent to commit a criminal act due to a mental disease or defect.
On the videotaped interview, Holmes said that human life has value and each one he took added to his worth, saying all that still made sense to him.
Image Source: CNN