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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.

“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.”

Judge Larry A. Burns said that Loughner was mentally competent to make the plea deal.

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.

Originally posted to Senor Unoball on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 01:58 PM PDT.

Also republished by Baja Arizona Kossacks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (13+ / 0-)

    I'm not familiar precisely with exactly what I said, but I stand by what I said, whatever it was. -- Mitt the Twit

    by Senor Unoball on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 01:58:24 PM PDT

  •  Weak. Normally I Don't Support the Death (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Senor Unoball, SCFrog

    penalty, but in this case I do.

    you can't just ingest LSD and other psychotropic drugs.. essentially make yourself insane... then buy guns and shoot to death a federal judge, nearly shoot to death a congresswoman, shoot and kill a nine year old girl-- and get away with it.

    there needs to be a message sent here. life in prison doesn't do it.

    "A civilization which does not provide young people with a way to earn a living is pretty poor". Eleanor Roosevelt

    by Superpole on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 02:14:47 PM PDT

    •  I'm the opposite (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MKSinSA, CatM, PSzymeczek

      Normally, I don't have a big problem with the death penalty. In this case, I think it's best just to have this guy quickly plead out and be put someplace where he'll never hurt another innocent.

      I'm not familiar precisely with exactly what I said, but I stand by what I said, whatever it was. -- Mitt the Twit

      by Senor Unoball on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 02:19:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  what does his drug experimentation have to do (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Senor Unoball, Gooserock

      with it? On what basis can do you conclude this is what made him insane?  Millions of people have used such without shooting anyone or becoming insane.

    •  Did he 'get away with it'? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Senor Unoball, Gooserock, CatM, PSzymeczek

      In many respects I think life in prison is a more fitting and painful consequence than the death penalty for any action in which the death penalty might be an option. Prisons are not particularly pleasant places, and a person has to live day after day after day after day, for years, with that consequence for their actions.

      Drug use was probably not a contributing factor, by the way. It was more likely to be self-medication in response to mental illness that was worsening for lack of treatment. It is only now, after he has been forcibly treated, that he was deemed sane enough to plea.

      from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

      by Catte Nappe on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 02:41:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  He Had a Lengthy Drug Use History (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Senor Unoball, Catte Nappe

      and his school wanted a mental health exam so he didn't make himself crazy and go shooting.

      Nothing sends a message to people who are mentally and emotionally unstable. They can't receive messages.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 03:28:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It is called self medicating (3+ / 0-)

      The prison psychiatrist said his journal showed he had been depressed since 2006 and showed signs of schizophrenia his junior year in high school. He told her he wished he had depression medication in high school. It is common for people with mental health issues to turn to drugs and alcohol to relieve the very real emotional pain they feel.

      We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

      by CatM on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 03:52:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  To say nothing of the fact that having (0+ / 0-)

        depression and incipient shizophrenia when you are a teenager might impair your already addled judgement about whether drug use is a good choice for yourself.

        Come on, this nation is awash in illegal substances and has been for decades.

  •  It's the right thing to do, imho (3+ / 0-)

    He will never be a threat to society again and by pleading guilty, hopefully it brings closure to the victims and their families.

  •  I don't care (3+ / 0-)

    if people get upset at me, I feel very sorry for him. I believe in the principle of not guilty by reason of insanity. And his insanity is undeniable. I don't think he can be blamed for his actions, because I believe he was not in his right mind. He was living in a world that is not the same as ours--he was trapped there. Actions do not have the same meaning in that world, and he had audio and visual hallucinations that to him were real entities. He did not know they were not real. I just don't see how you hate or blame someone like that.

    He should be in an mental health prison, and yet the guilty plea likely means he will go to a Supermax, according to what I read. Isolation is not going to help. His guilty plea should not have ben allowed. He was insane, he is clearly not really sane now. His speech was slow and slurred by all accounts. He is very proud of his jobs at the prison, which is rolling towels and stamping mail -- because he is successful at it. He refers to him self in the third person at times based on the little we heard about the testimony. None of that sounds sane, and he certainly was not sane when he kiled those poor people.

    I am so angry at society and people around him who didn't do anything to help. When he was depressed in high school, his parents could have gotten him treatment. Maybe they didn't notice or maybe they didn't care.

    Anyway, his death isn't going to help anyone, but I am not sure he is going to find his life in a Supermax tolerable. Supposedly, he wanted to die for awhile after his arrest. I suspect those feelings will come back.

    We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

    by CatM on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 04:05:32 PM PDT

    •  Nothing to be upset about with your opinion (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CatM, Glen The Plumber, PSzymeczek

      I admire your compassion.

      I'm not familiar precisely with exactly what I said, but I stand by what I said, whatever it was. -- Mitt the Twit

      by Senor Unoball on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 04:10:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  thanks (3+ / 0-)

        You kmow that picture they keep using from his arrest, with that goofy smile and somewhat wild look? My youngest son, who has asperger's and ADHD and is what other people think is very odd, has a crazy look like that sometimes (usually when he's very happy,  which is not often demonstrated). My boyfriend and I noticed it right away. So I guess I look at him and see him as someone's son. And I see that look, and it's so clear to me that he doesn't really know what he's just done. A sane person who is evil might be happy, but at the same time, would worry about the consequences and I don't think would have such a look of unconcerned glee. I think that is why so many find the photo disturbing, and why I feel a lot of compassion.

        Also, in high school, my oldest son was clearly noncommunicative and one day emailed me to say he sometimes "wished he were not alive." Having attempted suicide myself in high school, I did not ignore that. I had him committed to an adolescent facility, and he realy hated me for it, but I told him I could not bear the thought of walking into his room one day and finding him dead and this was the only way I could feel comfortable that he was safe. And I found a psychiatrist for him, and he started on antidepressants and stayed on them for two years. He says he feels so much better than he did back then and he really seems much happier.

        And maybe if someone had done that for Jared Loughner, he would have gotten help and nobody would have been hurt. Our society truly fails the mentally ill, and many parents do try to get help but the help is not there. I don't have any answers, but I wish we would all get behind doing something to try to prevent more Jared Loughners.

        We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

        by CatM on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 04:25:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I am very bothered by this outcome in this (0+ / 0-)

    case.  It's an excellent example of why we shouldn't have the death penalty.  I contrast the outcome here with that of John Hinckley, who had the best defense lawyer money can buy, 'cause his parents had the money to buy him and was found not guilty by reason of insanity.  Now he is practically free, again because his parents never abandoned him but kept going back to court to earn him some freedom.

    Loughner was clearly mentally ill but he can't have a trail and assert his not guilty by reason of insanity defense because he risks getting the death penalty.  And in spite of the fact that he's had to take anti-psychotic meds for 18 months to get "sane", he's competent to make a decision that puts him in prison for the rest of his natural life?

    I think it's adding tragedy to tragedy.  And adding injustice to the mix too.

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