Washington, DC (PRWEB) July 24, 2012
As new details continue to emerge in the tragic shooting at the premier of the Dark Knight Rises, they seem to raise more questions than answers. Despite the tremendous amount of evidence that appears to implicate James Holmes in the murder of 12 innocent people, he is still entitled to a sound defense and a trial in front of a jury of his peers. According to Washington DC criminal lawyer Shawn Sukumar, the task of handling such a public defense will be a difficult one for whichever lawyer works on Holmes’ behalf. While the defense might consider an insanity plea, it may not be that easy.
“One of the things that the defense will have to consider is the insanity defense,” says Sukumar, “but the problem with the insanity defense is that they are extremely hard to establish. There’s a myth that anyone can raise an insanity defense and avoid prosecution, but that is simply not true. The standard for insanity is very high. You have to show that the person had no ability to establish that what he was doing was wrong. If they try to raise an insanity defense, they are going to have a pretty tough time with it.”
According to CNN, Holmes was apprehended by police shortly after a shooting spree at a crowded movie theatre left 12 people dead and many other injured. He was allegedly found in the parking lot behind the theatre with weapons on him, and was arrested without putting up much of a fight or resisting arrest.
Holmes then allegedly made reference to a number of improvised explosive devices that he had at his apartment. Police evacuated the building and allegedly found a number of explosives in his apartment, many that were rigged to go off if someone were to enter the premises without being aware of such dangers.
Between the allegedly booby trapped apartment that he left behind, and the tremendous amount of care Holmes took to protect himself from police gunfire that would never come, it is certainly reasonable to believe that the murders that Holmes allegedly committed were premeditated and planned ahead of time.
“It’s going to be a death penalty case,” says Sukumar, “with this number of people killed, and with this level of what appears to be premeditation. The body armor that he was wearing show premeditation. That shows that he knew what was going to happen, and that he may get fired back upon by police. Also considering what he allegedly had back at his apartment, booby traps and bombs that were set to detonate when someone went in. With all that has come back so far, the defense is going to have a tough time pushing back against the premeditation argument.”
Every defendant is guaranteed a trial and a defense against the charges they face. But some defenses are inarguably harder to organize than others for the attorneys that will ultimately handle them.