Closing arguments: James Holmes Trial Closing Arguments
Published: July 14, 2015
Closing arguments: James Holmes Trial Closing Arguments, Attorneys and the court have spent several days debating how Tuesday’s closing arguments will go in the movie theater shooting trial, but they’ll also have to follow the established procedures of the court.
Court will convene at approximately 9 a.m. and start with the reading of the long list of instructions that were finalized Monday. Attorneys jostled over the content and even the grammar of those instructions for several days.
“The vast majority of reversals on appeal come from jury instructions,” said 7NEWS Legal Analyst David Beller. “The attorneys are being incredibly diligent and careful in the crafting of the instructions knowing that if there is a conviction, every word is going to be analyzed.”
After a likely recess, the closing arguments themselves will begin. District Attorney George Brauchler is slated to go first.
“The first argument is by the prosecution, the second argument is by the defense,” explained 7NEWS Legal Analyst Dan Recht. “It’s the only chance the defense has to talk to the jury. The prosecution gets to go again.”
Both sides will have only two hours total for their closing arguments but, as Recht points out, the DA has indicated that he plans to save about 30 minutes for a rebuttal. The court is likely to give the jury additional breaks between each segment.
During their arguments, expect to see the attorneys referencing evidence. They are likely to project slides on the screens located throughout the courtroom and show the jury physical evidence from earlier in the case.
Attorneys are also expected to make references to the psychiatrists who testified as experts, since mental illness is at the core of the case. Both sides had two experts speak in favor of their theory.
The defense wants their client, James Holmes, to be found not guilty by reason of insanity for the July 20, 2012 mass shooting. However the prosecution argues that he is legally sane and should be guilty of killing 12 people and injuring 70 others inside that Aurora movie theater.
“These trial lawyers have quite the burden on them,” Recht said. “They have to condense things happened for months and month and months into two hours in the most and they try to do this in part with demonstrative evidence.”
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