Skip to comments.The Death Penalty and Jared Lee Loughner
Posted on 08/09/2012 8:53:04 AM PDT by Kaslin
Jared Lee Loughner pleaded guilty Tuesday to 19 counts involving a 2011 shooting in Tucson, Ariz., that left six dead and 13 others, including then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, wounded. As part of the deal, Loughner will receive a sentence of life without parole. Victims' families have been spared the rigors of a trial, and prosecutors can be sure that Loughner will never again endanger the general public. Thank the federal death penalty, which applied because Loughner shot people at a federally protected political event.
Defense attorney Gerald L. Shargel wrote on The Daily Beast that though it would have been a steep climb, Loughner could have won an insanity defense given his "long and tortured history of mental illness."
What could prosecutors have done to prevent litigation that would have spanned decades? "Obviously, the prosecutors have to give something up in order to get the plea," Shargel told me. Not that he sees this as a game, but "the only card to play was taking the death penalty off the table."
Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, issued a statement in support of the outcome. "We don't speak for all of the victims or their families, but Gabby and I are satisfied with this plea agreement. ... 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."
Death penalty opponents often argue that eliminating capital punishment in favor of life without parole would provide swifter resolution for victims' families, who would not have to endure years of appeals regarding pending executions. Kent Scheidegger of the law-and-order Criminal Justice Legal Foundation says he likes swift resolution, too, but "it only happens when the death penalty's available."
It's not even clear that this case would have been concluded without the death penalty.
U.S. District Court Judge Larry Burns found Loughner incompetent to stand trial in May 2011 and sent him to a prison hospital for help. Successfully for a time, defense attorney Judy Clarke fought authorities' efforts to administer antipsychotic drugs to treat Loughner's schizophrenia. She did not want her client to be well enough to stand trial.
Because of the subsequent treatment, forensic psychologist Christina Pietz was able to testify that Loughner "has become human." He regrets his actions, especially that he took the life of Christina-Taylor Green, age 9.
In the end, while Loughner was too mentally impaired to rate capital punishment, he also was too culpable to escape sure punishment for a well-planned killing spree. Prosecutors took the death penalty off the table, and Loughner agreed not to appeal the results. Justice will be served.
Robert Hirschhorn, an attorney and jury consultant, does not support the death penalty, but he agreed that without it, there would have been no deal.
"You really want to use the death penalty as a bargaining chip?" Hirschhorn asked.
I don't see Giffords or Kelly complaining.
There should be nothing but the death penalty for an animal like this.
he can never rejoin society he has chosen to destroy so he has no reason to suck up taxpayer’s money for many years.
This doesn't make a lot of sense.
AZ has well over 100 people on death row, and I assume he committed AZ crimes punishable by death.
So even without a federal death penalty Loughner would have been facing possible execution.
One other great advantage of the death penalty, when it’s imposed but not executed, isa that it often amounts to a life without parole because the subhuman is kept locked up on death row endlessly appealing the penalty, often until he dies naturally or gets shanked.
60 or more years feeding on the taxpayers for food, shelter, TV and medical care. That’s justice for slaughtering people isn’t it? Fry him!!!
And for the rest of his life, he will enjoy 3 meals a day, medical care and a cot to sleep on. This will cost the taxpayers more than sending him to Oxford, each and every year of his life.
Funny, his victims didn’t get any choice in their role in all of this.
But that's another story for another day.
I don’t understand the chain of events.
14 months ago this guy was declared incompetent to stand trial.
Are they claiming he was competent when he committed the murders?
Then - after the murders - he became incompetent?
Then - after taking medication - he became competent again?
Now that he’s competent, does he go to a regular maximum security facility?
If he murders a fellow prisoner, does this dance start over again?
Without the death penalty, the prosecutors wouldn’t have a had a bargaining chip to get the plea.
Please don’t get the kooks started.
Some loon is likely to post that it was a “false flag” operation.
Make FreeRepublic look bad.
This was clearly a false flag operation. I’m sure the Freemasons played a big part.
Competent to stand trial and not guilty by reason of insanity are two completely different standards. So, he could, in the same exact mental state, be incompetent to stand trial, and yet still be sane enough to be criminally liable for his actions.
The Illuminati... sheesh, get your secret societies straight... ;)
Didn’t you know the Bavarian Illuminati derived from the Masons and disappeared back into them after being supressed?
So the answer is “Yes.”
Illuminati, imo, is another term for “capitalists” who do not “just work”, but plan something evil and sinister using the invocation of higher powers. Ironic that most leftists who invoke their non profit higher powers outfits of moral superiority and PC would point fingers there.
IN other news, looks like the Aurora shooter is barely disclosed as communist... is that a wink to democrates who know? THis is so selective.
The former grad student charged in last month’s deadly shooting rampage at a Colorado movie theater gave his religion as “agnostic” and his occupation as “laborer” when he was booked into jail, according to a document released to Yahoo News this week.
They’re not making any declaration about his sanity at the time of the murders. Now that he’s pleaded guilty it doesn’t matter, he’ll be in prison, he’ll be seeing prison shrinks, he might even wind up doing his time in psychiatric facilities.
You aren’t supposed to mention them (us) in public. Big problem. Stop it or else we’ll manipulate the weather and ruin your life. Got it?
I’m in New Mexico, the weather is doing fine killing all my plants without help.
Re: “Competent to stand trial and not guilty by reason of insanity are two completely different standards.”
I had no idea.
Maybe I’m the one who’s crazy?
Okay smartass. Stand by for the wrath of the skull and bones, freemasons, bilderburgers, rockerfeller people. We got you’re number, baby. We’ll be in the woods in California if you need anything. Love you.
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