Loughner Pleads Guilty in Arizona Shootings
After being ruled competent to stand trial, Jared Lee Loughner plead guilty Tuesday to 19 charges stemming from a shooting rampage that left six people dead and a dozen others, including former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, wounded. As a result of the plea, Loughner will not face the death penalty.
In a joint statement with her husband Mark Kelly, Giffords said: “The pain and loss caused by the events of Jan. 8, 2011, are incalculable. Avoiding a trial will allow us — and we hope the whole Southern Arizona community — to continue with our recovery.”
— Posted by Tracy Bloom.
The Huffington Post:
Loughner’s plea came soon after a federal judge had found that months of forcibly medicating Loughner to treat his schizophrenia had made the 23-year-old college dropout competent to understand the gravity of the charges against him and assist in his defense.
Under the plea, he will be sentenced to life in federal prison with possibility of parole.
The outcome was welcomed by some victims, including Giffords herself, as a way to avoid a lengthy, possibly traumatic trial and years of legal wrangling over a death sentence.