We haven't heard much about the accused Aurora, Colorado movie theater killer, James Holmes, lately. I wonder what he's been doing, sitting there in jail, waiting for his trial to begin. Is he pondering how many lives he snuffed out and how many others he destroyed? Is he singing along to the voices in his head? What? Apparently, he's doing at least one thing: Trying to kill himself. TMZ reports that James Holmes was hospitalized after repeated attempts to commit suicide in his jail cell. I don't think anyone (except maybe his poor parents) would have cried if he'd succeeded. But perhaps it's for the best that he didn't manage it.
Reportedly, Holmes tried to take his life in a couple of different -- and pretty gross -- ways. First, he ran headlong into his jail cell wall in an attempt to crack open his skull. Then he fell backwards off his cot onto the floor, again attempting to split his head open. None of this actually worked, and he was treated at the hospital for his injuries, and then sent back to the pokey. In fact, one source described his attempts as "half-hearted."
This stirs up some questions: Does James feel guilty about what he allegedly did? Or is he just going crazy in prison? Or is he just crazy, period?
Surely, a successful suicide attempt would save the state of Colorado untold amounts of money. No long and expensive trial. No housing James with three hots and a cot for the rest of life. (And he's young, so it will be a long time he's in jail.) Or none of the expensive, endless appeals that will happen if he's convicted and given the death penalty.
On the other hand, I imagine the victims and their families don't necessarily want James to take the easy way out. While it will be incredibly painful for them to be in court, they may want some answers as to why this happened -- they may never get concrete answers, but they will at least get a glimpse into the mind of this accused madman and may get some insight into how and why this happened.
Some victims and families may also prefer to see Holmes do his time rather than die.
Would jail be preferable for Holmes rather than suicide?
Image via Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office