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Dueling psychiatrists


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It’s now two against two.

Two court-appointed psychiatrists say James Holmes was sane the night of the theater shooting and two others say he was insane the night of the shooting.
Defense witness Dr. Raquel Gur is one of those.
In a moment which was designed to be the cherry on the defense’s cake, Gur told the jury that :
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“He (Holmes) knew what he was doing was illegal but he attempted to conceal it. The severity of psychosis was so severe, he was incapable of distinguishing right from wrong.”

Gur, one of the nation’s leading experts on scizophrenia, interviewed Holmes around half a dozen times for a total of 28 hours between December 2012 and August 2014 and wrote at least two reports as to his sanity. The first of these came out in April of 2013, but she had to go back and add substance to her analysis and write a second one.

For those of us who live and breath this theater shooting trial, we were salivating for the moment the defense asked its last question.
Prosecutor George Brauchler adjusted his tie and turned on his microphone.
Gur smiled, anticipating a showdown, and that’s what she got.

On cross examination, Brauchler pointed out that in her April 2013 report, Gur opined that Mr. Holmes was insane the night of the shooting even though she had not examined one crucial piece of evidence: the notebook. She also admitted that even though she’s written two books which stress the importance of interviewing family members before making a sanity decision, she did not talk with Arlene and Robert Holmes until November 2014, two months before jury selection.

It was only an hour of questioning but it was entertaining. A couple of exchanges were testy, like when Gur wanted to explain every answer instead of just saying “yes” or “no.”
When discussing whether or not the MRI machine she used to diagnose the defendant is a good scientific tool: Gur went into a long answer. The DA looked pained.
Gur – Do you want me to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’?
Brauchler – It’d be great.

Reminder, court is in session all week. Once the defense rests, prosecution calls rebuttal witnesses, which will be psychiatrists, there will be some jury instruction and closing arguments are hopefully going to start on Monday, but no guarantees.

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Explanatory Multimedia Reporting from CU Boulder Journalism Students
Dueling psychiatrists