Following the Holmes Trial? Some Info About Video Games, Addiction, and Violence

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Re: Following the Holmes Trial? Some Info About Video Games, Addiction, and Violence

Post by Naga_Fireball »

Spiritwind wrote:I find this topic of considerable interest for several reasons. One of them is personal. I have a good friend who finally, in frustration, took her now ex-husbands gaming equipment and broke it all beyond repair. She wanted him back and figured that was the only way to finally get his attention. My oldest son is quite into them. A number of years ago he was supposed to be working for me and couldn't seem to tear himself away. Since he happened to be using our internet with a booster next door, I smiled to myself and figured out how to get his attention. I simply unplugged the power to the Internet. He was over in minutes. But it seems ridiculous to me that we have to resort to such tactics. It's quite obvious it's addictive.

Although, in my sons defense, he is steadily maturing and becoming a better person, despite his continued interest in playing. He is now a father of two and has really risen to the occasion. We've also had many discussions where he has shared why it is important to him and in what ways he feels he has benefitted. It seems maybe it is a quite complex issue.

This headline got my attention in one of your posts:

Video Game Addiction Leads Not Only to Loss of Sanity But Also to Loss of Motor Skills

The reason is, I know a young man who I briefly worked with recently that was attending college. He told me during a discussion one night that he was writing a paper on how playing video games increases your motor skills.

My biggest argument against them has to do with how I use my time and energy, how we all use our time and energy. My feeling is, the world is careening ever closer to a future that isn't what I want to be part of. So I choose what I focus on very carefully. To me, playing violent video games in any kind of obsessive way, is putting energy into something that is the opposite of life affirming. To me, especially during a crisis (which in reality the world is in), playing any kind of games is escapist behavior that keeps us from collectively coming up with a better future for all life here.

I absolutely do feel their design is all part of the programmers nefarious agenda, and I would not doubt at all that it played a part in what happened to Holmes. People do seem to miss the deeper implications, don't they?
Thank you for your heartfelt but very logical post!
What a terrible situation for your friends who lost their marriage. Thanks for telling me about this,
because believe or not, *many* people have marriages troubled by games of technological "keep away", invasion of privacy,
and sadly, acts of anger carried out on the otherwise innocent machines who serve human need.

My big wake up call to the idea of gaming addiction did not happen when I started playing Dungeons and Dragons through forums,
sadly; I met some shady people that way who were more interested in meeting women than playing the game.

However, in the military, I rented a room in a townhouse from some friends who were dating each other.
I had a nice laptop, and although I spent a lot of time playing around on that thing, it wasn't long before I noticed my friend playing World of Warcraft.

Now, my friend/coworker was very handsome. He was super smart. He had no reason to withdraw from society.
In fact he was so handsome/intelligent/volatile that I was afraid to even consider him in terms of dating potential.
Perhaps something genetic said "this combination is too strong".

His girl friend was a beautiful mixed race woman who worked in supply.
She had been an airline stewardess and seemed very gracious, self aware, conscious to the comfort and appearance of others, etc.
She had to maintain friends in circles that did not necessarily agree with each other (black and white),
so that might have been one reason why my coworker withdrew into WoW.

While watching him neglect his girlfriend, I googled "game addiction" and eventually found a website called "Gamer Widow".
Gamer Widow forum has been featured in many news articles, and it started as a place originally where women gathered and talked about how video games and MMORPGS/shooters had completely destroyed their relationships with men. Soon, however, the site became full of people, both male and female, and of course parents/children of addicts -- their stories can't be denied, and yet the corporations do deny that their products cause damage to humans.


If the same thing was done to an animal, i.e. subject it to a Virtual Reality world that was druglike enough that the animal neglected its physical needs and became psychotic, well, PETA and everyone like that would get involved and that sort of thing would stop happening...

I suspect it's happening on the clandestine level, under high security, but the sad truth is that thanks to protections and immunities enjoyed by telecom corporations and the gaming industry in the USA, there are no protections for humans who encounter harmful technology that may or may not be experimental or otherwise breaking their constitutional rights, or even more importantly, eroding their identity and capacity to function as a human being.




That said, being a direct witness to the destroyed relationship of my friend/coworkers, I was not able to avoid becoming addicted to the product myself. I can't blame the corporation for things that have happened in my life, for choices I have made; however, I can help the public understand how exposure to these products changes the brain chemically and also contributes to a loss of empathy in human beings.


In the same way that a bottle fed animal or infant experiences the absence of its mother,
a human or animal who is fed a virtual environment will experience the absence of mother earth, or the Gaia soul,
in which I do believe (I don't think the idea of an earth soul conflicts with the idea of a Creator).




The Motor Skills article was harder to find.
I had to use the testimony also provided by the Holmes family (his parents), where they said he really suffered physically and mentally when he favored the video games over sports.

It takes only about 25 minutes per day of a stimulating motor activity (driving a manual car, playing soccer, piano, etc) to keep this part of the brain healthy.

However sadly in some cases no one is enforcing the healthy schedule needed in order to maintain the normal order of synaptic function in the human brain. And because the government has not had the chance to look closely at this issue before it spiraled out of control, and of course we have corporate espionage, lobbying, all that kind of thing, we don't have the normal controls in place as in other industries with the potential to affect the health of humans,

like fire codes, nutritional labels, things of that nature --

the region of virtual reality is almost as unmapped in public view as are issues like vaccine damage and corporate oligarchy.


The tip of the iceberg isn't always visible officially but there should be a stir in the social world, where human beings aware of these issues are, similarly to us, discussing them with candor.


It's not easy to get testimony such as what Holmes' mother provided, and of course the corporations would dismiss it in court as "anecdotal".

Because parents are for whatever reason not legally qualified to judge the health of their children, although somehow the court nails them for being responsible for said health -

it's a very strange conundrum, and I do hope our country looks closer at how the internet and perhaps more importantly, how repetitive violence and loss of human contact associated with video games is harming our society.


It's truly not something that can be blamed on race, income, or place of birth.
Game addiction has struck people in all walks of life -- we tend to hear more about the cases where poorer people without a private place to play,
such as in South Korea, resort to public internet cafes and the like, but we have people also like James Holmes,
who were described by their teachers as "Renaissance Children" but descended nonetheless into madness.

Activities that formerly provided relief to such people are discarded in favor of the addiction,
which is in fact worsening the underlying condition/break with reality,
and the manufacturers are denying all of this.

Bless you!
Brotherhood falls asunder at the touch of fire!
He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Not coloured like his own, and having power
To enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause
Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey.
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Re: Following the Holmes Trial? Some Info About Video Games, Addiction, and Violence

Post by Naga_Fireball »

CNN's tone today suggests the jury is leaning toward the death penalty.
However, they included some details in the article about James Holmes that should really make people think:
James Holmes' life story didn't sway jury
By Ann O'Neill, CNN

Updated 4:30 PM ET, Mon August 3, 2015


[James] was a bit of a prodigy. After he finished his assignments in fifth grade, he and a classmate filled the time writing code and building a website for the school. His teacher, impressed, called him a "Renaissance child."

By middle school, according to testimony, he was one of the top five players in the world at the video game Warcraft III. He also was starting to withdraw from people.

...

His decline began when he was 12 and the family moved from Castroville, near Monterey, to San Diego.
He had trouble making friends and began to withdraw into his room and his video games.
His mother went door-to-door looking for playmates but, she said, the boys in their new neighborhood weren't very friendly.

She recalled how her boy "lost his joy." She felt guilty that she couldn't make him happy.

The year before the Olso incident where Anders Breivik killed scores of innocent people,
I sent a very detailed and angry email to Blizzard Entertainment,
which their customer service employees flat out denied and mocked,
stating that I believed their product ruins people and is engineered to be addictive and ruin lives.

I asked them to "pull the plug" in another email, as the impression of death would not go away.
Thanks to these games, which are no better than drug addiction, at least four different young men were able to hide from their parents and plan acts of mass murder.

yet in each case, even Columbine, the game companies get off SCOTT FREE while the parents hold the bill.
So Blizzard gets the best years of this kid's life, he's in their big TOP 5 Warcraft III players,
yet none of their representatives are in court listening to families cry.

They are kicking back on yachts in foreign countries living it up and laughing at our court system.

http://www.theweek.co.uk/world-news/bat ... estruction

Killers who come from nowhere, set on chaos and destruction
Jul 24, 2012
One year divides Norway's atrocity and the Aurora cinema massacre – but there is a connection



As Aurora mourns, millions of Norwegians have been commemorating the 77 dead and 242 injured by the hand of Anders Behring Breivik a year ago.

There's a connection between Holmes and Breivik.

Both were addicts of complex and extremely violent video games.
Breivik's choice games, apparently, were Modern Warfare and World of Warcraft.

More spooky, if anything, is that another Breivik favourite was Age of Conan, a Norwegian game based on the fantasy world created by the novelist Robert E. Howard 80 years ago
.
Brotherhood falls asunder at the touch of fire!
He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Not coloured like his own, and having power
To enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause
Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey.
~William Cowper

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Re: Following the Holmes Trial? Some Info About Video Games, Addiction, and Violence

Post by Rob Halford »

I am far more interested in the one common denominator in all these events, psych drugs.
THAT is where you will find the impulses to hurt people.................
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Re: Following the Holmes Trial? Some Info About Video Games, Addiction, and Violence

Post by Christine »

Rob Halford wrote:I am far more interested in the one common denominator in all these events, psych drugs.
THAT is where you will find the impulses to hurt people.................
What we are seeing is a complex roll out of a "control mechanism", definitely including the "application" of psychotropic drugs. Add into the mix microwave signals, ELF, HAARP and CERN, the A.I. takeover, etc. We are sitting in a brew of dark consciousness that we can't run away from.

By claiming our Divine Sovereign State of BEing we can assume our mission and change the field. It is essential that we accept our Self as individuated Spirit, each soul unique and of Essence then through alchemical implosion an individuated Spirit becomes the UNITY.

There is so much being revealed at an exponential rate that requires we expand our consciousness, dropping the limits, beliefs and misdirects. Look within, drop into the Resonant field of the Organic Earth Mother. She is instructing us through our bodies. We are the synthesizers of our Reality.

Please listen to this talk, science meets spirituality. He really gets into where the impulses to hurt each other come from.

I want to thank everyone who is posting and asking the deeper questions. What Naga_Fireball offers is profoundly critical to our unfoldment.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j88BcgzzcTc[/youtube]
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The journey, the challenge is to step into the
projection room and stop being lost in the script.

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Re: Following the Holmes Trial? Some Info About Video Games, Addiction, and Violence

Post by Naga_Fireball »

No problem!
My connection's very poor but I will try to watch that at some point Christine. :)
Couldn't even get cartoons to play last night without hitching. (on crap wifi)

Mr Rob Halford,
I'm glad you brought up drugs:
The Columbine shooters were totally ramped up on totally inappropriate psych meds.
The case brought to light the increased importance of a "time-release" dosage anytime such things are given to underage folks.
Luvox might have been the drug in question, Eric Harris was given it.

I'm not sure if Holmes was being treated similarly, but it's very possible.

If I could do college over and do one thing to "make a difference" in terms of how it played out,
I'd choose private practice counseling/therapy over what the school offers each and every time.

It's really sad how some parents don't realize, they should not cut their kids off -
Having to go to the counselor at the school that's causing depression, might raise anger issues.

Kind of like the military. It's better to see a private doctor.. it just is..
Colleges are big honey pots for tax shelter and DoD umbrellas anyway -
It's better to have a private internet connection and a private doctor.

IMO! in my opinion!

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

We should start a thread sometime about the top exporters of psychotropics and also the top consumers (globally).
The truth really is scary, kind of like what happened in that movie "V for Vendetta" where the drug companies rule the world thru telecom.

:lol:
Brotherhood falls asunder at the touch of fire!
He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Not coloured like his own, and having power
To enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause
Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey.
~William Cowper

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Re: Following the Holmes Trial? Some Info About Video Games, Addiction, and Violence

Post by Naga_Fireball »

I forgot to add,

since some doctors/researchers think that the effect of the gaming addiction is as bad as crack,
seems like the diagnosis of depression/bp/schizophrenia does not always hold water.

When a therapist sees strange symptoms in a person they typically start by asking about/ruling out drugs.
Since games *act* like a drug (i.e. cocaine, changing the dopamine level), but are not *considered* a drug,
the telecom/gaming companies and the doctors misdiagnosing addiction are getting away with .. a lot.

ON A HAPPY NOTE: I don't have TV sub right now, so I don't have to watch Nancy Grace :oops: :lol:

ON A SAD NOTE: schools don't police their students enough. kids can literally get away with sitting in dorm room all day playing games and suffering depression and the school does nothing. Schools also make a crap ton of cash off of kids.

So we got:
telecom
schools
drug companies
mainstream health practitioners/contracted therapists at schools

Making a lot of money but not solving the problem. :o
Brotherhood falls asunder at the touch of fire!
He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Not coloured like his own, and having power
To enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause
Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey.
~William Cowper

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Re: Following the Holmes Trial? Some Info About Video Games, Addiction, and Violence

Post by Naga_Fireball »

Sorry for spam, I think the timer is up for editing the above post,

but here's a field that hasn't been studied enough in the mainstream,
the combined effects of a.) psychotropics, b.) violent simulations, c.) sleep deprivation.

The best doctors I ever had told me, "try to get up at the same time every morning".
That's very hard for someone who has an addiction robbing them of sleep.
However, it's a harsh and good cure, it does help!

I bet a lot of these college kids really do, in some way, lack a "reason to get up in the morning",
and for that, there really should be some community/structured intervention.

In fact the schools should enforce extra-curricular activity. Some already do -- they call it "convocation night", etc.
The kids have to sit in the auditorium and watch whatever's happening, whether it's Japanese puppets, live music and silent movie, etc.

Is it just me who feels that some of the smarter/sensitive kids who self-isolate, need proactive support before things get that bad..?

:lol: :lol: :lol: Idealism :lol: :lol: :lol:

My college was small enough that the dean of students noticed when people were isolating.
He would invite them over for dinner so they could at least realize, "I chose to be alone"...
it's therapeutic to realize you prefer being alone..! That not every time you feel like being alone, is because of sickness or whatever --
But making yourself be with others sometimes whether you want to or not is very important as well.

IMO? Screw all those large colleges with the frat/sorority scene.
Where's a truly smart kid going to fit in, between the sheets at a party?
I don't think so!
Brotherhood falls asunder at the touch of fire!
He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Not coloured like his own, and having power
To enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause
Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey.
~William Cowper

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Re: Following the Holmes Trial? Some Info About Video Games, Addiction, and Violence

Post by Naga_Fireball »

In a very odd story, press is saying, a 51 year old man did kind of a failed copycat thing today.
My concern has been that someone would do something to disrupt the sentencing phase of the trial -- isn't it a tad strange?

http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/05/us/tennes ... index.html
Tennessee movie theater shooting suspect killed by police

video: http://ht.cdn.turner.com/cnn/big//justi ... e_cell.mp4

By Steve Almasy, CNN

Updated 4:36 PM ET, Wed August 5, 2015
| Video Source: WZTV

(CNN)A man wielding a gun, a hatchet and pepper spray was killed inside a Tennessee movie theater on Wednesday after police responding to reports of an active shooter traded gunshots with the suspect, Nashville police said.

Nashville Police spokesman Don Aaron told reporters that one moviegoer was cut on a shoulder by a hatchet before police officers killed the 51-year-old suspect as he tried to go out the back door.

The wounded man had a superficial injury to his arm, fire department spokesman Brian Haas said.

No one has been transported to a hospital, Haas said, but three people -- including the man who suffered the cut from the hatchet -- suffered irritation from pepper spray apparently used by the suspect, who was wearing a surgical mask.

The suspect also had two backpacks with him, Aaron said. The bomb squad is going to destroy the bags, he said.

Police were called to the Carmike Hickory 8 movie theater complex in the Nashville suburb of Antioch at 1:15 p.m. CT. Two officers were already at the mall working a car accident when people came running toward them. The officers were inside the complex withing two minutes, Aaron said.

One officer entered the theater and exchanged fire with the gunman before backing away. The SWAT team arrived and had to don gas masks due to the heavy chemical spray in the theater, Aaron said. The man tried to flee out the back door.

A woman who worked at a Sprint store near the scene told CNN's Brooke Baldwin that about three hours earlier, a man with two backpacks tried to enter her store through their back door.

Antioch is a suburb of Nashville, about 15 miles southeast of the city.

CNN's Greg Botelho, Sara Pratley, Tony Marco, Eli Watkins and Sheena Jones contributed to this report.


It seemed a little too pathetic to be a true copycat crime,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copycat_crime
A copycat crime is a criminal act that is modeled or inspired by a previous crime that has been reported in the media or described in fiction.

The "copycat effect" is the tendency of sensational publicity about violent murders or suicides to result in more of the same through imitation.[1]

The term was first coined around 1916 due to the crimes that were inspired by Jack the Ripper. Due to the increase of replicated crimes, criminologists soon began to realize that media coverage played a role in inspiring other criminals to commit crimes in a similar fashion.[2]

There is also a book written by Loren Coleman called The Copycat Effect that describes the effect that the media has on crimes and suicides, which are inspired by crimes that have been widely covered across the media. Coleman's view on the media is that the constant coverage of these events, rather than the events with a positive message, gives these criminals a type of fame. The five minutes of fame, book or movie that is dedicated to these criminals provokes individuals with a tendency to behave in a similar way. Due to this type of fame, the "copycat effect" takes place.[3]


Causation

It has been shown that most of the people who mimic crimes seen in the media (especially news and violent movies) have in most cases prior criminal records, prior severe mental health problems or histories of violence suggesting that the effect of the media is indirect (more affecting criminal behaviour) rather than direct (directly affecting the number of criminals).[7] However that indirect influence that the media has on the individual does give them the idea of how to commit the crime. The type of reaction that the media coverage gives crimes can determine the path another criminal might take. This is because most criminals are intent on the shock value of their actions. They want to do something that will cause a high media coverage because of the attention that they will get, as well as the horror of the population. If going on a shooting rampage in a public space causes this attention (because of previous incidents), then an individual with the tendency to commit the crime will more likely take that path.[8]

The norms, heroes, anti-heroes and the spectacles of the time and place also influence how a crime is committed. In today's society, dressing up as one's favorite villain, and going to a public place armed is what some criminals do, or sometimes they even replicate their favorite movie or TV show scene, whereas in the Middle Ages, the crimes would be associated with the devil, snakes, or witches. But in both scenarios, it is the public interest that sparks what crime might be committed.[8]

An individual's interaction between violent media content and emotional development play a role in copycat behaviors. Individuals who are less emotionally developed will more likely commit the crimes that they see on TV. Characteristics such as demographic (age and sex), criminal factors (mental/personality disorders, failure in human bonding/lack of identity, social isolation and alienation) and relationship to Media (trust in media, Media literacy, identification with the perpetrators seen in media,) mixed with media characteristics and cultural-environment factors influences the copycat behavior in individuals. Media characteristics include the blur between fantasy and reality, positive response to violence and crime and how the crime is being committed. Cultural-environmental factors include the cultural view of fame and crime, reliance to the media for information and moral panics. Most offenders to likely be influenced by these characteristics are usually under the age of 25.[9]




It's funny that our society believes news coverage contributes to crime,
but not simulated violence in video games?
Brotherhood falls asunder at the touch of fire!
He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Not coloured like his own, and having power
To enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause
Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey.
~William Cowper

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Re: Following the Holmes Trial? Some Info About Video Games, Addiction, and Violence

Post by Naga_Fireball »

Hi dear EEs.
While the site was down a few moments ago,
was stressing out a bit because I wanted to share a detail regarding the Holmes trial ongoing,
that is similar to the Tsarnev trial:

more women than men on the jury!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trial_of_ ... r_Tsarnaev
The trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings began on March 4, 2015, in front of the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts, nearly two years after the pre-trial hearings.[1] Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's attorney, Judy Clarke, opened by telling the jurors that her client and his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, planted a bomb killing three and maiming hundreds, as well as murdering a MIT police officer days later. "There's little that occurred the week of April the 15th ... that we dispute," Clark said in her 20-minute opening statement.[1] Tsarnaev was found guilty on all 30 counts and has been sentenced to death by lethal injection for his crimes.[2]
I think I read that there were 10 women and 8 men on the Tsarnaev jury.
The trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings began on March 4, 2015, in front of the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts, nearly two years after the pre-trial hearings.[1] Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's attorney, Judy Clarke, opened by telling the jurors that her client and his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, planted a bomb killing three and maiming hundreds, as well as murdering a MIT police officer days later. "There's little that occurred the week of April the 15th ... that we dispute," Clark said in her 20-minute opening statement.[1] Tsarnaev was found guilty on all 30 counts and has been sentenced to death by lethal injection for his crimes.[2]
For Holmes, we have 9 women (!!) and only 3 men.
The nine women and three men must be unanimous if their decision is death. A single holdout will result in a life sentence. So far, there has been no sign of division within this jury. They have returned a series of unanimous verdicts in a relatively short period of time. Those verdicts have not gone well for Holmes.


I'm not trying to open dispute about death penalty or whether or not a person is guilty.
I'm asking whether or not a women-heavy jury in a situation where kids were exposed,
and factors led to a mass murder, tilts a fair trial in favor of death penalty.

I'm not sure if there's been a study done, about female jurors,
but I would be willing to venture that in cases like the brothers Tsarvaev and James Holmes,
they tend to lean very heavily toward death.

That says something about modern people if it's true. :(
Brotherhood falls asunder at the touch of fire!
He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Not coloured like his own, and having power
To enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause
Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey.
~William Cowper

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Re: Following the Holmes Trial? Some Info About Video Games, Addiction, and Violence

Post by Naga_Fireball »

Here! This woman Jenna Birch (altho some of it's MSM party line crap) said it much better than me:

https://www.yahoo.com/health/should-we- ... 93072.html
Should We Execute the Mentally Ill?
Jenna BirchContributing Writer
August 6, 2015

Image

James Holmes may face a death penalty sentence. But is it ethical to execute the mentally ill? (Photo: Getty Images)

On Wednesday, the final witness in the sentencing trial of Aurora theater shooter James Holmes testified before the court in Centennial, CO. Ashley Moser was the mother of the shooting’s youngest victim, six-year-old Veronica Moser-Sullivan, who was shot four times in the massacre.

Moser was also shot herself. She lost her unborn child and is now bound to a motorized wheelchair. She wept through her testimony, explaining that the six-year-old little girl she lost in 2012 was her best friend and her life. “I don’t know who I am anymore, ‘cause I was a mom when I was 18, and that’s all I knew how to be,”the woman told jurors.

The young mother’s story was just one of the many tragedies underscored in two days of victim testimony leading up to Holmes’ sentencing. In 48 hours, the jury listened to a dozen men and women tell personal stories of heartbreak on behalf of the 12 dead and 70 wounded on July 20, 2012 — and in the next day or so, they’ll decide whether he lives out the rest of life in prison or dies by lethal injection.

But last week, the jury heard a different story. They heard James Holmes’ story.

From family, friends and others who know the man behind the brutal attack in Aurora, the jury learned that Holmes was a child loved by his family, uncommonly bright. And then they listened to an account of the 27-year-old’s slow descent into schizophrenia.

At age 12, according to a CNN report, Holmes began isolating himself from other boys instead of playing with friends. In high school, his cross-country coach described him as otherworldly, uncomfortable with close interaction with his teammates. After college, he returned home, where he’d stay up all night and sleep all day. Colleagues at a pill factory where he worked recounted him frequently staring into space on the job.

Eventually Holmes went to grad school at University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora to study neuroscience, where he was suddenly failing instead of garnering the straight-A marks he was used to. He said he had a “broken brain,”which the neuroscience student finally determined was unfixable.

According to the defense, Holmes had a theory.

He sent his disturbing idea of “human capital”to a CU-Denver’s student psychiatrist Dr. Lynne Fenton through the mail just hours before he entered the theater. In it, he described how he might increase the value of his own life by taking others’lives—a nonsensical, obsessive notion.

There is no doubt Holmes is mentally ill, and has been for some time. Every doctor who has testified is in agreement. With a family history of mental health issues, the court-appointed forensic psychologist called him “genetically loaded.”In jail, Holmes suffered a psychotic break. He licked the walls of his cell, spread feces, and did somersaults, among other bizarre behaviors.

In March of 2012, four months prior to the shooting, Holmes admitted to Fenton that he was having thoughts of murder. In July of 2012, he carried them out. And while he might be mentally ill, that doesn’t mean he’s not responsible for his actions. The jury’s guilty verdict means Holmes knew right from wrong when he killed 12 people and injured 70 more in an Aurora theater.

But his attorneys say that if he wasn’t mentally ill, suffering from hallucinations and delusional thoughts, the shooting never would have happened. So this question stands before jurors in determining whether or not Holmes will serve life behind bars without the possibility of parole, or be executed by lethal injection:

“Does the jury unanimously find beyond a reasonable doubt that the mitigating factors that exist do not outweigh the aggravating factors proven by the prosecution?”

What Is the Jury Actually Deciding?

If Holmes suffers from a form of psychosis, why didn’t his lawyers’insanity defense work? According to Bob Stinson, PsyD, a forensic psychologist at Stinson & Associates in Columbus, OH, that defense is incredibly hard to argue.

“You’re basically saying that the person is not responsible for his actions and shouldn’t be held accountable,”Stinson tells Yahoo Health.

Think of it this way, says Stinson, citing a classic example: “If a paranoid person believes a neighbor is sending x-rays through the walls, directed at him, he might kill the neighbor as a product of his mental illness —but he still understands that the murder is wrong,”he explains. “It’s a fairly high bar to get over.”

So high, in fact, that an insanity plea is rarely attempted. After outcry and major reform following John Hinckley, Jr.’s acquittal for attempting to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in 1981, this form of defense is rarely even used. When it is used in high-profile cases, it often makes news, which is why we tend to believe it’s much more common than it is, according to James Eisenberg, PhD, a forensic psychologist in Perry, OH.

“With a legitimate insanity plea, it’s probably less than one-tenth of one percent successful in big crimes,”he tells Yahoo Health. “It’s very difficult to prove insanity. And the worse the crime, the less likely it is to be successful.”

So, while Holmes does have a mental health condition, he was aware enough to know what he was doing at the time of the act. Now, it’s up to the jury to answer this question, as laid out more simply by Stinson, in determining his ultimate sentence:“How much weight do we give to the fact that he’s mentally ill?”he explains. “Really, the prosecution has proved the aggravating factors, which are the factors that prove guilt. Now, the jury needs to weigh that against the against his being mentally ill.”

Eisenberg says this is one of the reasons it may be difficult for Holmes, and others in such situations, to avoid the death penalty as it stands. “It’s always touchy, when you say a person is mentally ill in the insanity defense,”he says. “As a result, it’s a mitigating factor [evidence that may lead to a lesser charge or sentence]. You’re losing some of your credibility with the jury in sentencing.”

In Holmes’case, the jury has already decided that mental illness was not enough to excuse him. He faced 165 charges in total. After months of testimony, including 200 witnesses brought forth by prosecution, he was convicted of every last one: 24 counts of first-degree murders and 140 counts of attempted first-degree murder (two counts for each victim), along with an additional count of possessing explosives.

But the X-factor in determining death penalty versus life imprisonment, so easy to forget amongst the horror of what happened in Aurora, is still mental illness—something his parents pleaded people consider back in December, on the brink of their son’s impending trial.

“We are always praying for everyone in Aurora. We wish that July 20, 2012, never happened,”they wrote in an open letter to The Denver Post, finally adding, “He is not a monster. He is a human being gripped by a severe mental illness. We believe that the death penalty is morally wrong, especially when the condemned is mentally ill.”

Where Do We Stand on Mental Illness and the Death Penalty?

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, we define mental illness this way: “medical conditions that disrupt a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning.”Severe mental illnesses may include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, PTSD and borderline personality disorder.

Make no mistake, Holmes’ actions were and still are deplorable, says psychologist Karla Ivankovich, an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois, Springfield, who counsels many patients with mental illness. But many are wondering if execution is the answer for the mentally ill.

“Nothing gives one individual the right to take another individual’s life,”she tells Yahoo Health. “But if he is given the death penalty, mental health advocates will likely say that the system has failed a young man —that, regardless of his actions, he needed the appropriate care to treat his condition.”

Holmes’parents are not alone in the sentiments regarding capital punishment for the mentally ill. Late last year, Public Policy Research conducted a national poll to gauge America’s stance on executing someone who suffers from such a condition. By a 2-to-1 margin, most of the country did not favor the death penalty in these cases. Results held steady regardless of race, religion, political affiliation, region or gender.

At the time of the poll, Scott Panetti’s fate was also being decided in the state of Texas, convicted of murdering his in-laws while his wife and daughter looked on. He has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. He attempted to serve as his own attorney during trial his in 1992, sputtering through his defense.

Panetti showed up to court wearing cowboy garb. He tried calling Jesus Christ, the pope, and John F. Kennedy to the stand. He believes he is standing in the middle of a struggle between God and the devil —and his lawyers, along with many psychiatrists, protest an execution, saying he too mentally ill to receive the death penalty.

According to the Supreme Court ruling in 1986’s Ford v. Wainwright, a mentally-ill person cannot be executed unless they understand the reason behind the execution at the time it is to take place. So, if they were sane enough to receive a conviction and death sentence, but decline further while in prison —something Eisenberg says we do see, as mental illness tends to worsen with age —a convicted person might never see the death penalty.

But what about full exemptions? There are a couple precedents for exempting groups, according to Stinson. “We don’t execute juveniles under the age of 18, because we know their brains are still developing,”he explains. “We don’t execute those with mental retardation. And it’s not a stretch about mental illness. We’re starting to go there — and there’s a fairly spirited discussion about whether or not they should be subject to the death penalty. If they are less worthy of it.”

Eisenberg was on an American Bar Association task force in 2006 that recommended those with severe mental illness not receive the death penalty. Since, similar suggestions have been put forth by the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association.

The task force examined Atkins v. Virginia, saying those with mental disability were ineligible for execution. They took the case of juveniles outlined in Roper v. Simmons. “The task force used the same logic in response to mental illness,”Eisenberg says. “It was recommended that we not execute people who are sick. And it’s taken a long time to get this far.”

It’s all still very murky, though. Some states also have legislation in the works to prohibit the execution of the mentally ill, but nothing has passed yet. People with severe mental health disorders are still subject to this fate, as their competency and crimes are weighed against their conditions.

In May 2015, Cecil Clayton was put to death by the state of Missouri. He had an IQ of 71, had lost 20 percent of his frontal lobe in 1972 in a sawmill accident, and suffered from schizophrenia. In 1996, he killed a police officer and was sentenced to death. Lawyers pleaded on his behalf, saying he didn’t understand the reasons for his punishment.

In the wake of recent events from Aurora to Sandy Hook, mental illness has been at the forefront. Do guns kill people —or does untreated mental illness? Are we really doing enough to help those who are mentally ill? And would it prevent these tragedies?

How Can We Better Treat and Handle Mental Illness?

In Holmes’trial, how to deal with and treat a perpetrator’s mental illness has been a huge discussion. How to deal with and treat a person’s mental illness has sparked huge debate, as well.

In the trial, much was made of what CU-Denver’s Fenton knew, and if she should have reported Holmes’condition as a potential threat. He admitted to having homicidal thoughts, sometimes three to four times a day —and those thoughts were getting progressively worse.

Under HIPAA laws, what a patient tells his or her doctor is privileged information except in specific instances. Fenton could not have reported her concerns to Holmes’parents under those guidelines, and perhaps not even to authorities.

Many states, including Colorado, have a “Duty to Warn”that lies outside HIPAA. A medical provider or health professional must inform authorities if they suspect a person is a threat to public health or safety. In court, though, Fenton said her hands were tied. She couldn’t report Holmes, because he never discussed any particular person, group or area he wished to harm.

Eisenberg explains those specifics are generally needed to disclose a potential threat to the authorities, and Holmes had no other risk factors like “a prior history of violence, aggression, or drug and alcohol abuse”to suggest he might act on high thoughts.

As far as preventing crimes before they happen, experts are still not yet effective in determining if violence is likely. Researchers have found links between mental illness and violent behaviors, and have especially looked into schizophrenia. But risk assessment is far from an exact science.

In an analysis published in 2012 in the British Medical Journal, experts analyzed 68 studies of more than 25,000 people in psychiatric institutions, prisons, or detention centers. They found that when researchers used common means of assessment to determine whether or not a person might commit a violent act, 41 percent of those who were predicted to “violently offend”ended up doing so. In the group predicted to be nonviolent, only nine percent percent actually committed a violent crime.

To break this down, authorities would have to lock up two people to prevent one of them from becoming violent, leading the authors to say that “risk assessment tools in their current form can only be used to roughly classify individuals at the group level, and not to safely determine criminal prognosis in an individual case.”

In terms of simply treating mental illness in general, for the sake of doing so and to help reduce crime, society is still struggling. “There is a shortage of mental health professionals and treating facilities,”Ivankovich says. “Those who are trained with advanced degrees in the field are only able to treat a segment of the population. Resources are always limited and the work is difficult; there is a constant battle within the system relative to who can treat, and yet only certain classifications are reimbursed.”

Ivankovich also says that stigma is also a major factor keeping those with mental illness from seeking proper care. “Research has shown it negatively impacts an individual’s desire to get help,”she says. “Because this stigma is so pervasive, the likelihood of an individual divulging their mental-health condition is less likely.”

She says that, in approximately 50 percent of cases, mental health and substance abuse concerns begin by the age of 14. Roughly 75 percent present by the age of 24. Some estimates have suggested one in four suffers some type of mental health concern, “and we continue to see those numbers climb,”Ivankovich says. “Unfortunately, the number of individuals treated is far less than that. If left untreated, especially with schizophrenia, a patient can end up in crisis.”

Stinson says there was a movement in the 1960s and 70s to release those with mental illness from psychiatric institutions and offer community mental health centers for care and treatment. “The release happened, but the community mental health centers really did not. Now, we’re often re-institutionalizing the mentally ill in prisons,”he explains, where the environment is not optimal for effective treatment.

All in all, it’s a flawed system. And a jury will decide how much of this matters as they contemplate Holmes’fate after closing arguments on Thursday. They will have to weigh compassion for mental illness with due justice for the victims and hurting loved ones.

Because absolutely nothing takes away from the fact that innocent 12 people are gone, 70 others have been wounded, and countless families are now scarred by loss. This nation is still reeling in the wake of tragedies like Aurora, with mass shootings seemingly at every turn. “It’s a no win battle,”Ivankovich says.


The "human capital" obsession Holmes came up with is very disturbing, but to be honest, some bankers think the same way.
They too tend to self-destruct.

I think the difference in this case was the break from reality (i.e. the identification with the Joker) coupled with total insomnia/schedule turnabout,
and being enabled in playing those games day and night!

Video games romanticize and glorify the otherwise boring and tedious task of misusing others.
Bankers see it on paper in representational graphs, charts, statements.
Gamers see it on the screen in the form of human shapes exploding, splattering, falling :( etc.

It's just two forms of expression for the same fundamental illness!

When will the Crack Dealers (gaming industry) face the music like the other industries that mess up kids?
Is big pharma and big gaming lying in the same bed? :shock:

Image
Brotherhood falls asunder at the touch of fire!
He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Not coloured like his own, and having power
To enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause
Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey.
~William Cowper

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