Yesterday, we wrote about the possible plea of insanity for Colorado shooter James Holmes–a claim that some legal experts say may be his only defense. Understandably, this ignited a slew of controversy with the majority of readers being highly against any leniency even if he was diagnosed as insane or with any type of mental illness. The death penalty is obviously a consideration here too, so we want to know: Should Holmes get the death penalty even if he is diagnosed with some type of insanity or mental illness?
First, let’s recap a few comments that some of you left on our Facebook page:
Kristina Scala made a good point:
Please read up on what actually happens to those that plead insanity before stating that those who are not guilty by reason of insanity get it “easy”. usually they are placed in a facility for the mentally ill for life with no hope for parole/release because the state can hold them there essentially indefinitely. also stop tossing around diagnoses. you cannot tell a diagnosis from the media’s representation of a person. the only person who can form a diagnosis are the professionals who will doubtlessly perform multiple inventories to get the right story.
In terms of the death penalty, Jennifer Eichenberger posted:
I have no doubt he is insane/mentally ill but nevertheless, he still needs to pay for what he did! We can’t just say, oh he is mentally ill, so go easy on him. NO–this person needs to be removed from society. If he can’t help what he does, then he should be put to death, because there is no hope for rehabilitation.
And Lisa Martelloni Langrell added:
mental illness is not a get out of jail (or death penalty) free pass. He was sane when he ordered all of that stuff. He was sane enough to know how to operate an assualt weapon. He was sane enough to go through college..so ill or not, he will never benefit society and frankly, I would rather my tax money go to helping the victims instead of wasting money on courts for the next 4 yrs to try and save his sorry ass.
So we want to know what you think. If James Holmes is diagnosed as insane or mentally ill, should he still receive the death penalty? Take our poll below and leave a comment too with your opinion.
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