DENVER (PDPR) — When it comes to getting justice for victims of mass shootings, FOX31 asked our political analyst George Brauchler, who prosecuted James Holmes during the Aurora Theater filming, if there’s a reason these cases are taking so long pursue.
Suspects in those cases were arrested in two mass shootings across the country over the weekend.
While it may appear that the court process in these cases is very slow, we learned on Sunday that this is actually by design.
“How he plays this mental health card that he has, that’s the only option you have in a situation like this where you’re caught in the act,” Brauchler said.
Brauchler said that in the cases of two mass shooters arrested in New York and California over the weekend, and other examples in recent history, the issue of mental health can delay the court process.
“Honestly, for us and for most states, if you commit first-degree murder, you’re signing up for prison forever, many times over,” Brauchler said.
Because of this, Brauchler said, hate crime statutes may not have as much impact as local government prosecutions for any sort of federal involvement.
“When it seems like a set of facts, they ask themselves: why is it taking so long to bring this person to justice,” he said.
The public needs to be patient with the process, which Brauchler said could be inherently very slow.
“The Constitution makes this a very protective trial for defendants that involves mass shooting, and it’s going to be quite painfully slow,” Brauchler said.
Justice in these cases and many other mass shootings does not happen overnight.
“It will be years before this case is resolved,” Brauchler said.
While this might be frustrating for the public, there’s a reason these cases might be slow to resolve.
“These things are happening with such increased frequency that our ability to solve the last one is diminished, it’s going to be really difficult to wrap things up before we have yet another buffalo and yet another church shootout.” said Brauchler.
Brauchler mentioned the King Soopers gunman suspect as an example of the delays that can occur when mental health is a factor in a mass shooter.
Back in December, the Boulder King Soopers suspect was ruled unfit to stand trial by a judge but was treated and reevaluated at a later date.
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