I don’t know if you have been paying attention to the arraignment and pre-trial of the Aurora, Co shooter James Holmes, but if you have not you have just missed something vitally important. The judge in the case has said that he can be subjected to truth serum* injections during a polygraph examination to evaluate the condition of his sanity during the massacre. Excuse me?
*Truth Serum is a misnomer, what it does is lower your inhibitions causing you to be less careful with what you say.
So in order to enter a plea of not guilty by reason on insanity he has to undergo this procedure or the judge won’t except the plea of insanity. Okay, clearly Holmes is a deranged monster, people in their right mind don’t attempt the things he did, don’t kill and maim the amount of people he did, but that doesn’t give the state the right to violate his Constitutional rights, does it?
Remember that, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law, part of the Miranda rights? Yeah, those tie directly into the Fifth Amendment protecting you from self-incrimination. The right to remain silent lest you be proved to tell your story or have your story manipulated in such a way that you appear guilty. How is Holmes going to be protected from self-incrimination when he is drugged and interviewed for the express purpose of ascertaining the reason he committed his crimes? Do you think they’ll come back with, during the interview he told us he was totally sane, then admitted to the other crimes we can charge him with as well?
This isn’t America. The prosecution’s job is to prove he was sane, prove he shot the people, prove etc. from beginning to end. That is why he is facing 166 various accounts for his actions. He does not have to prove his innocence…except now he does.
When did we become a country where the burden of proof was on the defendant. Oh, I know that in the court of public opinion we have judged and weighed and given our opinion of guilt or innocence on just about every high-profile trial out there, but we also were not sitting on the jury or for the most part even in the courtroom. The public loves sensationalism and that is something for the news. The court process should be more refined, more legal, a process by which we prove the guilt of the criminal and not ask them to prove how they didn’t commit a crime.
You aren’t usually asked to prove a negative. What happens when every defendant must undergo a truth serum interview in order to enter a not guilty plea? Is this the kind of country we want?