|James Holmes was recently found guilty of murder for his shooting spree at a movie theater in Aurora, CO. Research this case and determine why he was not considered mentally unfit for trial.
1. Describe the bases and sources of American criminal law.
2. Discuss how substantive criminal law defines a crime and the legal responsibility of the accused.
3. Describe how procedural criminal law defines the rights of the accused and the process for dealing with a case.
4. Analyze the United States Supreme Court’s role in interpreting the criminal justice amendments to the Constitution.
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James Holmes was arrested on July 20, 2012, after he started shooting at people that were watching a movie at a theater in Aurora, Colorado. The incident on this day resulted in the death of 12 people and various forms of injuries to 70 others. Although he pleaded not guilty to the 24 counts of first-degree murder because he claimed to be mentally ill, he was sentenced to life in prison without the option of parole. Also, the failure of the jury to reach a unanimous decision for the death penalty was a major disappointment for the prosecutors, families of the dead victims, and the survivors. Therefore, it is necessary to examine the underlying reason why the accused was sentenced for the crime despite the claim by his legal team that he was mentallyunfit for trial. According to Stone (2015), the Mr. Holmes belonged to the category of mass murderers that do not belong to the classification of the individual with mental disorders. While his condition might seem like that to people, he suffered from the psychopathic personality that is a condition that is classified in the DSM-V. Secondly, his plea for mental insanity was thrown out by the jury because his actions before and after the incident were premeditated and consistent with the behavior of a psychopath. He planned the shooting incident several days before as evident through his conversation with his former girlfriend, the attires he wore on the day after buying a ticket and leaving the rear exit door open.
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