James Holmes committed one of the most heinous crimes in modern history. My assumption was after his apprehension that a team of psychologists, criminologists, the works would have been swarming around him. Prodding and probing, trying to figure out what went wrong inside his head. Given the legal and law enforcement resources allocated to the case, one could reasonably think that a battery of health care professionals would have been dispensed before and during his trial. That wasn’t the case.
“The psychiatrist didn’t talk to him (Holmes) until 6 months later. A person can go in and out of psychosis. He might have been psychotic the day of the crime, and then 6 months later he could tell right from wrong.”
Again, as a matter of the public record Holmes wasn’t given any kind of official psychiatric evaluation until the trial, months after the massacre. The disconnect between his state of mind at the time of the incident and his state of mind during the trial defies logic. Furthering the confusion and disconnect between the two camps was that he was deemed mentally ill and yet he was legally sane.
Before his trial Holmes spent time at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo. He had his own ward. Again, it wouldn’t be irrational to think during his time there, given the institutes ability to handle violent patients, that health care professionals would have been evaluating him around the clock in conjunction with the defense team to determine if they were dealing with a cold-blooded killer or a person that is severely sick. That wasn’t the case. In fact nothing like that happened at all. It was mostly used as a holding pattern.
A lot is being said about what is going wrong with violence in America. A big first step in addressing this seemingly growing issue is taking the difficult steps in synchronizing the legal and mental health systems as well as financially compelling insurance companies to keep sick and potentially violent patients under their care.
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