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Court papers show James Holmes can enter insanity plea

James E Holmes, Tamara Brady

DENVER — Lawyers for Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes may plead not guilty by reason of insanity, according to court documents released Friday.

The Associated Press reports Holmes’ attorneys want the judge to declare portions of the state’s insanity defense law unconstitutional.

Currently when defendants plead not guilty by reason of insanity, they waive rights to remain silent and reveal confidential medical information.

The court filings by Holme’s attorneys challenge this practice when the case involves the possibility of execution.

The attorneys argue not knowing whether or not prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty, impacts what kind of plea they will enter. It also changes what type of defense they may use.

The filings indicate attorneys will make the insanity plea.

Holmes faces 166 charges related to the shooting spree at the Century 16 theaters in Aurora on July 20 that killed 12 people and injured another 58.


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