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James Holmes 2015 Trial Jury Questionnaire

The James E. Holmes murder trial commenced Monday, April 27, 2015, and is expected to last for months before a decision can be made.

The Charge

According to District Court records, Arapahoe County, State of Colorado, People v. James Eagan Holmes, the Defendant, charges include the murder of 12 people and the attempted murder  of 70 people at the Century 16  Theater located at 14300 E. Alameda Ave., Aurora, Colorado, on July 20, 2012.   The incident occurred amidst a back drop of a much anticipated Batman Movie premier, “The Dark Knight Rises.”

James Holmes  Explosives detonated. FBI Agents found Thermite and homemade Napalm at James Holmes residence after Colorado Shooting 2012Holmes is also charged with Possession of Explosive or Incendiary Devices at 1690 Paris St., Aurora, Colorado, on July 20, 2012, at place of residence discovered after theater shooting.  FBI Agents found Thermite and homemade Napalm at the residence.  This photo displays those very same explosives when detonated.

Front and center in the case is the question of James Holmes’ Mental Health Status at the time the crime occurred.  Reportedly, Holmes has already stated he was the shooter.  His legal defense has entered into court of record James Holmes was however experiencing a psychotic episode at time of crime and this should be taken into consideration to explain the plea of Not Guilty by reason of Insanity.

What we now know in 2015 regarding James Holmes’ Mental Health is his Psychiatrist at the time, Dr. Lynne Fenton,  has released past health records, and there has since been two separate  and independent Psychiatric Mental Health Evaluations.  Both have results documenting James Holmes was sane at time of crime.

James Holmes 2015 Trial Jury QuestionnaireHolmes has pleaded Not Guilty by reason of Insanity.  But, before the Prosecution and Defense Teams can  present their case, there was a Jury Selection phase.  It involved in part  a 75 item questionnaire and those pertaining to Mental Health specifically are listed here for review.

Out of 9,000 Arapahoe County residents who received letters for jury duty, 24 jurors were chosen. In groups of 250, individuals were ask to meet with Judge Carlos Samour and ask to complete the questionnaire.  From those a second round of screening was conducted by Judge Samour and the Prosecutor and Defense Attorneys until a final 24 was agreed upon.

A.  Questions Related to Mental Health

41.   Do you have any opinion as to whether people should be able to plead not guilty by reason of insanity? YES/NO (circle one)

If “YES,” please state your opinion and explain it:


  1. If your opinion is that people should not be allowed to plead not guilty by reason of insanity, are you able to set that opinion aside and make any decisions required in this case based only upon the evidence presented during the trial and the instructions of law given to you by the judge? YES/NO (circle one)

Please explain:


  1. Can you follow and apply the law as described above in the introductory paragraphs of section II of the questionnaire (bottom of page 6 and top of page 7)? YES/NO (circle one)

If “NO,” please explain:


  1. Have you or any of your close friends or family members had any experience with mental illness? YES/NO (circle one)

If “YES,” please explain:


  1. Do you, a family member, or a close friend have any training, education, or experience in the diagnosis or treatment of mental illness? YES/NO (circle one)

If “YES,” please explain:


  1. Do you have any opinions or thoughts about the relationship, if any, between mental illness and the criminal justice system? YES/NO (circle one)

If “YES,” what are your opinions/thoughts and what are they based upon?


  1. Do you have strong opinions––good or bad––about mental health providers? YES/NO (circle one)

If “YES,” please explain:


  1. Do you have any opinions, beliefs, or feelings about mental illness that may affect your ability to be a fair and impartial juror in this case? YES/NO (circle one)

If “YES,” please explain:


  1. Do you have any opinions, attitudes, or beliefs that would cause you to be more or less likely to believe the testimony of mental health professionals? YES/NO (circle one)

If “YES,” please explain:


  1.   Have you already formed any opinion about the mental health of Mr. Holmes?
    YES/NO (circle one)

If “YES,” please explain:


B.   Questions Related to Publicity

C.   Knowledge of Alleged Victims and Witnesses

D.   Knowledge of Counsel, Counsel’s Staff, and the Judge and the Court’s Staff

E.   Questions Regarding Undue or Unfair Hardship

F.   Questions Related to Potential Punishment

Then, additional miscellaneous questions are ask, and potential jurors completing the questionnaire are required to provide a signature of consent  for declaration that information provided is true, complete, accurate; accept full acknowledgement that if any information is not accurate or willfully misrepresented an individual will be subject to committing a Class 3 Misdemeanor in violation of section 18-8-613 of the Colorado Revised Statutes.

For the full jury questionnaire document   LINK HERE 

This case may very well hinge on the outcome of Mental Health Evaluations completed.  What we do know is two deemed James Holmes’ Mental Health Status at time of crime as sane.

::::   Until Next time: à Donf   ::::  

Dr Lawana R Lofton, PsyDDr. Lawana R. Lofton, PsyD – Psychologist with one simple goal of making concepts of psychology accessible. ||  Twitter  @lrlofton    Read Psychological Précipice:  The Psychological Pursuit To Find The Best In You  on Amazon.   If you have not read it yet, I highly recommend it.

See also:  James Eagan Holmes Prosecutor Seeks Death Penalty: Will Mental Health Status interfere?