Jared Lee Loughner Pleads Guilty in Arizona Shooting Rampage, Faces Several Life Sentences

The gunman, after being found fit to stand trial, will be imprisoned with no possibility of parole for the fatal shooting of six people and injuring of 13 others

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image: a mugshot of Jared Lee Loughner
U.S. Marshals Service via Reuters

Jared Lee Loughner

Jared Lee Loughner on Tuesday pleaded guilty to the 2011 mass shooting in Tucson, Ariz., that killed six people and wounded 13 others including former U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords. The guilty plea was part of an agreement that prevents him from facing the death penalty.

With defense attorney Judy Clarke at his side, Loughner, wearing a khaki jail uniform, calmly answered questions from U.S. District Court Judge Larry A. Burns, saying that he understood the court rules and that he would plead guilty to 19 of the counts against him, with the other 30 counts to be dropped. Asked if he understood each charge as they were read, Loughner simply replied, “Yes, sir.”

(MORE: The Real Lesson of the Tucson Tragedy)

The verdict came on Tuesday after Burns was convinced that Loughner, 23, was competent to enter a plea and could understand the court proceedings, what he was accused of and the ramifications of his actions. The plea, following Loughner’s long-anticipated competency hearing, forgoes what was expected to be a lengthy trial that would have been draining on survivors and victims’ family members, many of whom attended the proceedings. While Loughner’s sentencing won’t be held until Nov. 15, he will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars, serving multiple life sentences with no possibility of parole.

In court, he admitted to murdering a federal employee, attempted murder and causing death at a federally protected activity. “There’s no question in my mind Loughner understands what’s going on today,” Burns told the court.

(PHOTOS: Gabby Giffords Bids Farewell to Congress)

Loughner, who dropped out of a community college he attended for five years, has been held in a medical facility in Missouri since the shooting and was flown on Monday to Tucson to appear at the hearing. Experts have concluded that he suffers from schizophrenia, and they’ve kept him on psychotropic drugs for more than a year. The hearing, which began at 11 a.m. local time, started with testimony from Dr. Christina Pietz — a forensic psychologist who has been treating Loughner — who told the court that she felt Loughner was competent to stand trial. If he were sent to the general population in prison, she said, she has no concern that he would harm anyone else as long as he is given his medication.

(PHOTOS: The World of Jared Lee Loughner)

“My concern is someone will harm him,” she said. Pietz also testified that Loughner has a rational understanding of the proceedings and that he knows he will never leave prison.

On Jan. 8, 2011, Loughner opened fire with a legally purchased semiautomatic pistol on a crowd gathered to hear Giffords speak at a “Congress on Your Corner” event in the parking lot of a Tucson supermarket. Before bystanders tackled and disarmed him, he managed to kill six people — among them U.S. District Judge John Roll and Giffords staffer Gabe Zimmerman — and wound 13 others, including Giffords, who suffered a serious brain injury. Loughner was later charged with 49 counts of murder and attempted murder. The shooting deaths of Roll and Zimmerman would have made him eligible for the death penalty, had he not entered the plea deal.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Giffords supported the plea deal. “The pain and loss caused by the events of Jan. 8, 2011, are incalculable,” Giffords said in a joint statement with her husband Mark Kelly. “Avoiding a trial will allow us — and we hope the whole southern Arizona community — to continue with our recovery.”

MORE: Messages for the Tucson Victims

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drinkeroftherye
drinkeroftherye

This article courtesy of Viper Bats.

Which wood type is best for baseball bats? That is the great debate!

Maple is a very hard, dense wood. The surface hardness is about 20% greater than ash. The harder the surface, the faster the ball will jump off the bat. This is one of the reasons maple has become so popular - that and the fact that Barry Bonds and other big league sluggers swing maple. Maple is a closer grained hard wood than ash. The grain is not as easy to see as it is with ash. The straightness of the grain does not matter as it does with ash. Maple will not splinter. The grain will not separate. The hardness of maple makes a bat with less flex. Ash on the other hand does flex. When a ball is hit with an ash bat, there is a trampoline effect. The ball doesn't just jump off; it first compresses the wood, then like a spring board it leaves with much more force than maple. This spring board effect is one of ash's greatest strengths and weaknesses. The spring board and compression traits of an ash bat will cause the grains to separate over time. The flex of an ash bat will appear to have a larger sweet spot. Ash bats do not snap the way a maple bat does. Ash bats will break just as easy, but usually they just wear out. The grain of an ash bat will delaminate over many uses.Birch is tougher than ash, and more flexible than maple. This hard hitting imported wood does not flake like ash and out-performs maple. A lighter wood, birch allows athletes to swing larger barreled bats through the hitting zone.  After two seasons of extensive game play testing in the Cape Cod Baseball Summer League and the Alaskan League, a player is quoted as saying, "Maple is a thing of the past." Birch bats have become a viable choice. However, many of our customers own bats of all three types of wood so they can see which wood they prefer, and select the right bats for their practice and gameday needs.

Bamboo is also a newer choice on the market. Many companies have recently introduced bamboo models. Some bamboo models are used in conjunction with maple (see Composites below). Since bamboo chutes are hollow, they are made by pressing bamboo "strips" into billets, and then the billets are combined and made into bats. Bamboo is an extremely strong wood, with tension strength greater than steel.

Composite wood bats are typically some combination of different wood types that have been fused together to make a more durable bat. For this reason composite bats will last the longest, and will also be among the most expensive wood bats. Because these bats are engineered specifically to be long lasting, many composite bats will come with some type of warranty against breakage, which is rare for wood bats. Composites also make great practice bats.

drinkeroftherye
drinkeroftherye like.author.displayName 1 Like

Previous post was mistakenly posted here.

“Gabby shouldn't be any more satisfied than the rest of us. This deal let Jarred of the hook from confessing that tea party hate speech pushed him over the edge. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz got it right when she said, "They need to pin this on the tea party". Rep. Markley recognized that "incendiary rhetoric" was to blame. Our man Krugman said "violent acts are what happens when you create a climate of hate". Even Obama recognized that "their deaths must usher in mere civility in public discourse". The Feds shouldn't let the Tea Party of the hook. Peace FORWARD.”

john
john

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Rodney Donovan
Rodney Donovan

Oh Poor Baby.....I can't believe all these sheep in Arizona. He gets to spend the rest of his life with 3 squares, clothing, shelter. while the people he shot are dead. Burn the prick at the stake!

Andrew Hamper
Andrew Hamper

I wonder if you ever had a loved one who was mentally ill? All of you say to kill him but if he was your son, with a MENTAL ILLNESS you would hopefully show some compassion. It is extremely sad for the victims and among those victims is Jared. Let's hope that you never become Schizophrenic.

Vivian Dobeck
Vivian Dobeck

Maybe we need to RETHINK the Death  Penalty and abolish  plea deals

Rodney Donovan
Rodney Donovan like.author.displayName 1 Like

 Brilliant! These damned attorneys don't even want to do battle. Maybe that is why they call them shysters, bottom feeders, etc. There is no justice in this plea bargaining. The rat gets away free......

Chuck Torres
Chuck Torres

What a country we live in.  This mass-murderer gets a trial and gets the chance to live.  We get to pay for his trial and now we get to pay to feed, house, cloth and provide him healthcare.  I guess that's the humane way.  Too bad he didn't treat his victims as humanely.  He should be resected from society like a cancerous tumor.

worleyeoe
worleyeoe

IMO, our system of justice does not want to deal with the scrutiny that would arise from having Laughner tried. While I'm convinced he is schizophrenic, he's our Breivik, only he's actually insane.  In the case of Brevik, I've read that the field of psychiatry is on trial as much as Brevik is. In a similar way, we can make the same comparison with Laughner. Time will tell if a similar effort is made with Holmes.

But to your point, I would completely agree. There may come a day that we can either fix these serious mental illness issues or gather intelligence that allows law enforcement to preempt these horrific acts. But whether it's Laughner, Brevik, Holmes or now this "White Power" whack job from Wisconsin, I say humanely put them in the ground. Their deaths will be near painless, which is utterly contrary to the pain and agony felt by their victims and loved ones.

EVERYONE knows the only reason the death penalty costs more is because of the way we handle the appeals process. Yet all four of these individuals share one unequivocal trait: guilty beyond any possible doubt. Their mental state should not matter in terms of justice.

Rodney Donovan
Rodney Donovan

Whoa! An Optimist. Brain dead is brain dead pal. There is still a price to be paid for the deaths he caused. He must pay. If not, then anybody can go on a killing spree and not have to worry about consequences.

John Forsthoffer
John Forsthoffer

They need to find an island to put people like this so they can kill each other all they want.

Andrew Hamper
Andrew Hamper

I wonder if you ever had a loved one who was mentally ill? All of you say to kill him but if he was your son, with a MENTAL ILLNESS you would hopefully show some compassion. It is extremely sad for the victims and among those victims is Jared. Let's hope that you never become Schizophrenic yourself. 

tj300zx
tj300zx

Too much sympathy for lunatics is what makes living in this country hard sometimes. DUDE WAS EFFING CRAZY AND KILLED PEOPLE. I have no compassion for those that choose to act subhuman. A victim? No, he was the perpetrator and nothing more, nothing less. People like you are why America sucks.