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Burden on Colorado Prosecutors to Prove Sanity

Accused movie theater shooter James Holmes
RJ Sangosti-Pool/Getty Images

DENVER (AP) – Prosecutors have an uphill battle if James Holmes pleads not guilty by reason of insanity. Unlike other states where the defense needs to prove sanity, prosecutors in Colorado are the ones who have to show that a defendant is sane – and they have to do it with having their own experts examine Holmes.

Holmes is accused in the July 20 shooting that left 12 people dead and 58 wounded. He is due is in court Thursday where a University of Colorado psychiatrist is expected to testify.

Holmes’ defense attorneys say he went to the psychiatrist for help with an undisclosed mental illness. Holmes’ mental health is expected to be the major issue in the case. Prosecutors allege Holmes may have been angry at the failure of a once promising academic career.

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