A LITTLE MORE ACCOUNTABILITY, A LITTLE LESS ENABLING
By Max R. Weller
Read the story in the Denver Post. All that remains for Holmes is a decision by the jury on punishment. Frankly, although it’s not permitted in Colorado, I favor public hanging in a venue where as many spectators as possible might have a chance to see justice carried out.
The other matter to be resolved now is what, if any, consequences Dr. Lynne Fenton may face for her failure to seek court-ordered involuntary commitment to a secure psychiatric facility BEFORE Holmes went on his deadly rampage. See Aurora theater shooting gunman told doctor: “You can’t kill everyone” also in the Denver Post. Quoting from this article below:
In Colorado, mental health professionals can have patients involuntarily committed to a hospital but only if they pose “an imminent danger to themselves or others,” said Tom Olbrich, the director of access and emergency services for the Jefferson Center for Mental Health.
That leaves much up to the interpretation of the therapist. In 2014, lawmakers provided clearer guidance about what “danger” means, but Olbrich said the decision turns on whether the threat is “imminent.”
“Unless you have good, strong evidence that indicates that the person is about to do something in the next day or two it, it probably doesn’t meet the standard of imminent,” he said.
Fenton, who is now facing a lawsuit over her decision, insisted that Holmes never told her anything to suggest an attack was imminent.
To prosecutors, who are seeking the death penalty, it showed Holmes calculatedly kept details of his plot from his therapist. To defense attorneys, who have pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, the fact that Holmes continued going to therapy shows a man who was reaching out for help.
But it was Fenton who seemed most torn, still unable to understand the mind of her patient. During one break in testimony, she and Holmes and the rest of the courtroom stood at attention as the jury exited the room.
Her eyes drifted to the right. They looked first at the floor by the defense table. Then they lifted to look at the man on trial there.
Dr. Lynne Fenton from her CU faculty bio page (University of Colorado file)
What a travesty of the practice of psychiatry that so many innocent people died because this idiot, Dr. Fenton, couldn’t see the evil right in front of her . . .