The New York Times is reporting that Jared Loughner today pleaded guilty to the shooting rampage in Tuscon that left Rep. Gabby Giffords severely wounded and six people dead.
Under the agreement, Loughner will spend the rest of his life in prison.
Thirteen others were wounded in the January 2011 attack.
In a statement, Ms. Giffords’s husband, Mark E. Kelly, said they had been in contact with the United States attorney’s office as the negotiations over Mr. Loughner’s plea evolved.Judge Larry A. Burns said that Loughner was mentally competent to make the plea deal.
“The pain and loss” caused by the rampage “are incalculable,” Mr. Kelly said. “Avoiding a trial will allow us — and we hope the whole Southern Arizona community — to continue with our recovery and move forward with our lives.”
I think this is the best solution for all in this case. Loughner will be in prison the rest of his life, and he'll never be a threat to outside society again. A long death-penalty trial, and inevitable appeals, would have kept open the wounds of that horrible day.
Good luck to Gabby. I hope she continues to recover, and I'll hope to see her at the Democratic convention in a few weeks.