(NewsSky)- The student accused of the Colorado cinema massacre could be given “truth serum” to help determine whether he is insane, a judge has ruled.
James Holmes, 25, who is accused of killing 12 people and injuring 70 others during a shooting rampage at a Batman movie premiere, is expected to enter a plea today.
Defence lawyers have indicated that the former neuroscience graduate might plead not guilty by reason of insanity.
If he does, the judge has ruled he might have to submit to a “narcoanalytic interview” – including the use of what some have dubbed a “truth serum” – as part of the evaluation of his mental state.
A narcoanalytic interview is a decades-old process in which patients are given drugs to lower their inhibition.
The judge said Holmes could also be given a lie detector test as part of the evaluation.
Holmes will face 166 counts during an arraignment hearing in connection with the shooting spree at a cinema in Aurora, Colorado, last July.
Last week, the same judge rejected defence claims that the rules relating to an insanity plea were unconstitutional.
Holmes was arrested immediately after the shootings at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises.
A preliminary hearing in January was presented with harrowing evidence of the scene inside the cinema in the aftermath of the shooting and the desperate attempts to save lives.
The court also heard evidence that Holmes spent months planning the mass killing, purchasing weapons, ammunition and body armour, and booby-trapping his apartment.
Prosecutors will have 60 days after a plea is entered to announce whether they will seek the death penalty.