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Closing Arguments in Dark Knight Massacre Trial Center on Defendant’s Sanity
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Attorneys focused on the mental health of James Holmes as the trial came to a close earlier this week.

Summary: Attorneys focused on the mental health of James Holmes as the trial came to a close earlier this week.

According to NBC News, the trial of James Holmes began its final phases on Tuesday. Holmes is accused of killing 12 people and injuring another 70 during a 2012 screening of “The Dark Knight.”

  
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A state prosecutor, during closing arguments, told the jury that Holmes planned out his attack, purchasing firearms, ammunition, and other equipment while keeping his horrendous plan a secret from those he was closest to.

Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler told the jury that Holmes was highly intelligent and calculating. At the time of the shooting, Holmes’ plan to become a scientist was failing.

Brauchler

Brauchler

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Holmes’ parents have asked that his life be spared.

Brauchler noted that 400 individuals entered the theater at midnight for the opening night showing of the film, eager to see the latest Batman movie. Holmes fired 76 rounds in just 90 seconds, The Guardian added.



Brauchler commented, “They came in hoping to see a story of a hero dressed in black, someone who would fight insurmountable odds in the name of justice and trying to protect others and for peace. But that’s not what happened. Instead a different figure appeared before the screen, dressed all in black, and he came with one thing in his head and his mind. And that was mass murder.”

According to the Toronto Sun, Brauchler actually broke down during the closing arguments.

Holmes’ defense attorneys have argued that Holmes carried out the shooting after a years of fighting schizophrenia, which altered his perception of reality and forced him to kill people.

According to Colorado law, prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Holmes was sane.

In 2013, Holmes offered to enter a guilty plea.

Daniel King, the lead defense attorney for Holmes, told the jury not to allow Brauchler to appeal to their emotions by detailing crimes that are not disputed. King argued that Brauchler was trying to shift the focus away from Holmes’ mental health, the central issue of the trial.

King

King

King pleaded for the jury to use “reason and common sense and not a desire for retribution” as they deliberated.

Additionally, King said, “The mental illness caused this to happen. Only the mental illness caused this to happen, and nothing else. When he walked into that theater, the evidence is clear, he could not control his thoughts, he could not control his actions, and he could not control his perceptions.”

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Deliberations began on Wednesday.

Holmes’ psychiatrist allegedly thought he was dangerous months before the attack.

The third anniversary of the shootings is just a week away. As the trial concluded, a sense of anticipation could be felt in the courtroom. Many survivors and families of those who were killed were clearly exhausted from losing sleep the night before. Many embraced each other.

As the judge gave the court the jury instructions, he named each victim. Some cried, some held hands, and others prayed in silence.

As for Holmes’ parents, they sat behind him quietly, as they have done each day of the trial since it began on April 27.

Source: NBC News

Photo credit: sayanythingblog.com, CPR.org (Brauchler), heavy.com (King)



 

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