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James Holmes v.

the State of Colorado

Issue #2

Latest Case Updates!


True Crime, Psychology and History!

Downtim! Research

Defenses capital punishment history to be limited by judge.

Hearing Holmes

January 2014

Downtime!
Documentaries
As with books, many documentaries have been made about the death penalty. By getting up close and personal with the inmates, as their execution dates grow ever closer, these documentaries give a raw account of life on the row. About Life on Death Row Death Row : The Final Twenty Four Hours " John Blystone. Federal sta# share their personal stories and experiences of working on the row. This lm explores the emotions and thoughts of the sta# in depth and reveals some shocking stories of executions gone wrong. Contains some very distressing and graphic accounts which may be upsetting. Saving David Powell: David Lee Powell Made in the run up leading to Powells execution, this documentary includes interviews with Powell and the people who knew him best. Prescribed a medication that is now banned because of its violent side e#ects, and evidence which proves Powells innocence, this documentary, again displays the unwilling attitude to recant a capital sentence. After Innocence " Jessica Sanders After innocence covers the story of two men, released from death row after DNA evidence forced the state to overturn their capital sentence.

With no set date for the impending trial and closed hearings keeping us out of the loop, nows the perfect time to deepen your understanding of Capital Punishment.

Books
Various books have been written about the death penalty, but it can be hard to nd well researched texts that are actually !orth reading. Ive compiled a short list of the titles that Id recommend reading if youre looking to read up on the subject. Against Capital Punishment Injustice: Life and Death in the Courtrooms of America " Clive Sta#ord Smith. A british man working in Miami is convicted of the murder of two associates. Add a bumbling lawyer to the equation and it equals death row. Strong evidence suggests hes innocent " yet he still faces the death penalty. Highlights everything that is wrong with capital punishment. Killing Time: One Mans Race to Stop an Execution. " David Dow Written in a novella style, Killing Time tells the true story of a leading death row attorney who believes one of his clients is actually innocent, however they are weeks away from execution. Exemplies the reluctant attitude to review capital cases.

Life After Death: Eighteen Years on Death Row " Damien Echols This biography is written by a man, Damien Echols, who spent eighteen years of his life on death row after a trial of fake evidence and false testimony. He tells of his time on the row and reveals how he was tormented by guards and wardens alike.

Capital punishment evidence limited imposed upon Holmes' defense tea!

Judge Carlos Samour has prohibited the defense team of James Holmes from using history of the capital punishment as evidence in the upcoming trial. But why would the history of capital punishment aid Mr. Holmes' case? It is likely that various instances of capital punishment going wrong !convicts not dying immediately or as planned, being subjected to inhumane circumstances, or later being cleared" would have been used by the defense to bring the very raw yet real reality of the circumstances surrounding the death penalty to light. Judge Samour ruled that the evidence would not be relevant to the case. The judge also ruled that Holme's team may not present evidence or indicate that refers to or implicates, the e#ects of Holmes' death on his family or friends. However, character witnesses from these individuals about Holmes before the shooting, in order to support his case.

Functional Psychosis
There is one monumental question in this case, the answer to which could save a mans life. The answer to which, has been speculated and theorized not only by online amateurs, followers of the case and reporters, but professionals too. The answer to a question so important that it goes beyond this huge case and will undoubtably be referred to in future cases to come. The question of course, is that of James Holmes sanity. ! So what do we know so far? We know that he was taking Sertraline, a prescription drug which targets depression and OCD, usually distributed in the USA under the name Zoloft. We know that he had seen a therapist. We know he had theories about what was wrong. But thats it. Everything else is speculation at this point, the exact nature of the diagnosis known only to James, his defense team and the prosecution. At least thats a start, right? Wrong. As a result of James entering a plea of NGRI, he was sent to nearby Pueblo for an entire month in order to undergo what was undoubtedly a very rigorous psychological evaluation. The results of which suggested that: James is t to stand trial, James is not t to face capital punishment James was not of sound mind at the time of the attack However, the prosecution have recently requested that James undergo yet another evaluation. The reason? Theyre accusing the doctors at Pueblo as being bias. Hearings will take place this week, all of which are closed, in order to discuss the details of the Pueblo evaluation outcome and where to take the case from here. With the details of James sanity staying sealed until the pending trial, which still has no date, we are yet again left guessing as to what is or could have been wrong with James Holmes. ! At this point, all we really know for sure is that James was able to plan meticulously, as suggested by his ability to prepare explosives at his apartment, among various other things. Does this mean that he was sane? No, it literally only suggests that he was able to refrain from running around the streets naked or rolling in his own shit. When people generally picture the connotations of the word insanity the age old stigma of padded cells, dirty protests and straight jackets springs to mind. However, when you describe the very same ailment as a mental health illness, suddenly the subject appears more complex. We can understand then, that James was able to function on a very basic day to day level but thats where the facts end. As far as we know for sure, he could have convinced himself of anything. This is where everything breaks down. As traits like paranoia, depression, insomnia, compulsions, intrusive thoughts, hallucinations and a whole host of other nasty combinations creep in, the higher, logical cognition that normally keeps things like superstition in check "knock on wood, black cats, etc# in check, begins to unravel. A very possible and popular assumption is that James was in the midsts of a serious long time functional psychosis. Taken from the Oxford Handbook of Forensic Psychiatry a Functional Psychosis is; . An altered perception of external reality, Distorted cognitions Disordered mood "mania, depression,fear# Hyperarousal secondary to these. Specic psychotic symptoms and violence Paranoid symptoms involve an abnormal altered interpretation of relationships with others, especially imagining a relationship where none exists "e.g. believing that a news broadcast contains a special coded message for you#. Persecutory delusions are paranoid delusions in which the other person is perceived as intending harm. $$$$$$$$ The risk of acting violently is increased if paranoid symptoms are present, regardless of the specic diagnosis. By denition, patients experiencing paranoia have incorporated other people into their psychotic experiences, and those others may therefore be at risk of harm "from what the patient thinks is necessary self%defense, for instance#. The risk is unpredictable in terms of time course, and degree of harm. The violent act may be the result of confusion, panic or fear caused by their symptoms.$ Encapsulated xed paranoid beliefs may exist in the absence of other types of disordered reality testing "such as hallucinations#. Paranoid delusional disorder which commonly occurs as an exacerbation of paranoid personality disorder, may be particularly resistant to treatment, resulting in persistently high risk to others In summary, a functional psychosis can be caused by a number of mental health problems and is just one of the byproducts of these issues being left to evolve. But it is a condition, and a very real and dangerous one at that. Unfortunately however, this makes it almost impossible to narrow down any possible illnesses without interviewing the person in question. Additionally every illness will e&ect each individual in a di&erent way. And even then, though likely, it might not have been a functional psychosis at all. Ultimately what matters is the fact that the ability to exist, to function and even to plan have absolutely no bearing on a persons sanity.

Hearing Holmes

January 2014

Colorado: Historical Execution


Miller, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1854, was executed at 2:07pm on January 19th 1877. A mulatto, miller joined the army at 17 and ve years on, was stationed at camp Fort Lyon with other african american soldiers. A local woman, going by the name of Mrs. McClain ran a brothel that was popular with cowboys in the area. During a particularly lively evening, a cowboy slapped Miss Bell, McClains sixteen year old daughter. The violence escalated and the terried mother turned to the african american soldiers of Fort Lyon for help. Nearby, a dance hall named Merchants Hotel in Old Town, Las Animas, Colorado was full of its usual cliental of soldiers and cowboys. Two local cowboys, Greer and Sutherland were present this night, both worked for local farmers and were well liked. Towards the end of the night $around 11pm% James Miller and another african american solider Smith arrived at the bar and insulted the halls owners Charles Barr and Robert Martin. ! ! The following day, a group of locals went to Fort Lyon and reported the crime to the commanding o"cer who had both Miller and Smith arrested. They were taken to a civilian jail to be tried and sentenced. Both men were found guilty of rst degree murder and sentenced to death by hanging. ! On the 18th of January 1817, Miller was hung at 1:55pm. His nal statements included a prayer that ended with Farewell, friends, farewell! May God have mercy upon me!. When the trap door lever was pulled nothing happened, so the sheri# pulled it once again and this time the door ung open. Despite the fact he was swinging, Millers feet had become caught up with the trap door and so his neck did not snap. A guard rushed in and kicked the door clear and miller began to shake. Once Miller was still, Dr. Robbins checked for a pulse, which he found. Millers neck had still not broken and so he was left to hang. It took twelve minutes for Miller to die. ! !

Bent County Jail today: Credit Southeast Co Heritag!

Dance nights were divided up between blacks and whites, though tonight was not a dance night, so everyone could drink there. Greer threw a racial slur at Miller, calling him a son of a bitch and announced that he would not drink with a damned nigger while reaching for his friend Sutherlands revolver. Miller ed before Greer could re, at which point Sutherland took back his gun and scolded Greer for his slur. ! Around ten minutes later, Miller and Smith returned accompanied by seven more armed black soldiers. Miller red at Sutherland, shooting a fatal round into his head. Smith followed suit, wounding a bystander in the bar. Miller then blew a whistle, signaling the entire group to open re on the bar.

Fort Lyon: Credit Kathy Weiser/Legends of America,

Luis Jos Monge, born on the 21 of August 1918 was executed on the 2nd on June 1967 for the murder of his wife and family. A hispanic, Monge was born in Puerto Rico but grew up in New York. He lived with his wife and ten children, and worked as a salesmen in Denver at the time of the murders. He admitted to having a relationship with one of his daughters, Gloria who was sixteen at the time, and was afraid his pregnant wife would nd out. On the 29th of June 1963, Monge took a three pound bar, measuring thirteen inches in length, and battered his wife to death in a downstairs bedroom as she slept beside their youngest daughter, Theresa. He then took a stiletto and stabbed it through the heart of the eleven month old baby, before laying her beside her mother. Next, he decided to murder two of his sons, who were sleeping in an upstairs bedroom. First, he carried the younger son, four year old Vincent, to the basement where he chocked him to death, before carrying to the bed where his dead mother and baby sister lay. Monge then returned to Vincents bedroom on the rst oor, for his older brother Alan, taking the bar hed used to bludgeon his wife, with him. He struck six year old Adam on the head with the bar. ! Upon being stuck, Alan cried out Daddy, Daddy!, was struck once more, then died. Monge washed his sons face, which had become covered in blood, and laid him in the bed with his other deceased family members. After this encounter, Monge no longer had the heart to attack his remaining children. The following morning, Monge was arrested. At his arraignment, he pled not guilty by reason of insanity, and so a psychological examination was ordered, to which he was found sane. Monges reaction was to change his plea to guilty and admit to rst degree murder. He stood trial and was found guilty and sentenced to death by gas chamber. However, in January of 1966 a moratorium was placed upon the death penalty until the coming November elections. The people of colorado voted for the death penalty in large numbers and so Monges sentence stood rm.

Luis Jos Monge


Recent Colorado Execution

Executioner Wayne Patterson, pulled the lever that killed Monge in 1967. He was against capital punishment at the time of the execution and remains so. Credit to Colorado Springs Independen!

In March of the following year, he requested to be hanged, red his attorney and withdrew all of his appeals, and thus an execution date was set for June of that year. This erratic change in behavior sparked the governor to order a nal last minute sanity examination. Monge was once again, found sane and this event was the nal intervention. He ate his nal meal in the company of his surviving children and at 8:01pm was strapped to the chair in the gas chamber. He declined to make a nal comment and was pronounced dead at 8:20pm.