James Holmes, responsible for the infamous Colorado Theater Shooting in Aurora, Colorado, is now set to undergo a second mental evaluation as ordered by the judge. There is question as to the validity of the original psychological evaluation, which failed to provide sufficient evidence as to whether or not Holmes is certifiably insane. The prosecutor in the case has apparently requested that the judge revisit the evaluation by use of a different facility than that which was first appointed by the courts. Once the evaluation has been completed, the courts will then know which direction the case is headed. The world wonders, will justice be served?
An accurate evaluation will set the standard for how Holmes’ sentence will be handled; a verdict of insanity will require the court to facilitate Holmes’ transfer to a State Mental Facility, where he will likely stay for quite some time. This sentence would likely cause him to be acquitted of the crime he committed. However, if his mental status does not meet the criteria for being clinically insane, he would then be sentenced to life without parole or possibly face the death penalty.
That fateful night, James Holmes opened fire on an unsuspecting crowd of movie-goers at the Century 16 Movie Theater in Aurora, Colorado, mowing down 70 people and claiming the lives of 12. In the aftermath, families were shaken by the loss of those they loved, who were doing nothing more than attempting to enjoy the midnight showing of The Dark Knight. The terror and loss that was experienced that night left many questioning their own safety. As a result, some were reluctant to engage in everyday activities, such as going to the movies for some time thereafter.
In the weeks after, the grief-stricken faces of family members were on every news station pleading for justice. Facebook and Twitter were abuzz with the shocking details of the tragedy that occurred. James Holmes was a particularly educated man, who had been accepted into a medical school program prior to the shooting, but those who knew him felt as though something were amiss. A previous supervisor of his described James as “socially inept” and many who were familiar with him were concerned at his strikingly odd behaviors, such as confiding his fantasies that involved killing.
Holmes had been under the care of psychiatrist, Dr. Lynne Fenton, who purportedly alerted the campus police at the University that Holmes attended when he made it clear to her that he had the desire to kill. No one knows why Dr. Fenton did not take actions necessary to detain and treat Holmes, rather than deciding to merely alert the campus police. In the events leading up to the Aurora shooting, Holmes had warned others to stay away from him and was even reported to have contacted an actor who starred in movie about a vigilante shooter.
Today, as the judge ruled in favor of yet another mental evaluation to be done of James Homes, America holds its breath in anticipation of this crucial verdict. The world will have to wait to see what becomes of James Holmes. Those whose lives have been shattered by that terrible massacre will now have to wait a little while longer to be able to pick up the pieces of their lives. The second mental evaluation is underway; many are waiting for the guilty verdict to give justice to all who truly deserve it.
By J.A. Johnson
The Denver Channel