Feb 13, 2013 2:42 AM by Garrett Boyd

Insanity pleas would be tougher under Colo. bill


DENVER (AP) - A Colorado proposal would make it tougher for defendants to be found not guilty by reason of insanity after the mass shooting at a suburban Denver movie theater last summer thrust the issue into the spotlight.

Colorado's current standard requires prosecutors to prove defendants are sane, but most states put burden on the accused. A bill up for debate in a House committee Wednesday would require defense lawyers to prove a defendant is insane by clear and convincing evidence.

Lawyers for James Holmes the man suspected in the June shooting rampage say he's mentally ill, and many legal experts expect he'll enter an insanity plea.

The bill would not affect his case, but the measure's sponsor says it highlights why the change is necessary.



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