It will come as no great surprise that James Holmes, the suspect in the Aurora theater shootings, is considering an insanity plea.
But there’s an interesting twist. Before he enters a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, he (or rather his lawyers) wants the court to define the term “mental condition,” which occurs several times in the statute. His point is that he can’t admit to something until he knows what this admission might entail!
There’s a great deal of muddled thinking in the mental health area, and of course this spills over into legal procedures when the law tries to incorporate “mental illness” notions.
It will be interesting to see how it works out, though I’m sure the whole business is upsetting to the victims’ families, who want to see justice done.