by Eileen | 2:55 am, January 17, 2013 | Comments Off
Lynne Fenton, the psychotherapist treating James Holmes, is facing the first of what could be a dozen civil cases against her. Dr. Fenton did report Mr. Holmes when he discussed fantasizing about committing a mass killing, but did not push for a 72-hour involuntary hold.
The case makes a precise claim, that had Mr. Holmes been placed under an initial 72-hour hold, the murders would not have occurred. Does this presume a judge would have extended the hold? Or perhaps that those three days would have affected a break through?
Logically, you can’t prove a negative. Legally, you can be as illogical as you want. The case could be decided on emotion, though the very process by which it takes an eon for anything to come to trial might cool the first angry flushes.
Whether or not a brief hold would have prevented the carnage James Holmes caused, who knows. I doubt anyone has lost as much sleep over that as Lynne Fenton. Maybe it would have delayed things a few days; what evidence has been publicly disclosed points to planning, and that points to someone who was deadset on a course of action.
The case, brought by one victim’s surviving spouse, almost certainly won’t answer those questions. But it may serve to bring out details not currently in the public domain, specifically, the exact nature of the comments James Holmes made that caused his therapist to report him.
Whatever Dr. Fenton has disclosed to date is being restricted by the Judge on the case and she won’t be able to share much without getting privilege waived. Look for the looming battle over that and the ensuing melee of armchair diagnoses.
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