Back in January, a Tucson, Arizona shooting that claimed the lives of six and nearly fatally wounded Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords sparked intense debate and outcry across the country.
Liberals pointed fingers at right-wing rhetoric such as Sarah Palin’s crosshairs campaign urging Republicans to “lock and load” in warring with Dems. Right-wingers painted the shooter as an extreme leftist. And at the center of the tragedy, what emerged was a picture of a very, very ill young man severely affected by untreated mental illness.
YouTube links and other periphera illustrating the mental state of Jared Loughner began circulating almost immediately, painting a portrait of a man who rather than right or left was just quite sick. And as Loughner awaited trial in prison, his deteriorating mental state became clearer to authorities. Loughner was declared unfit to stand trial back in May, and is being treated with a series of psychotropic medications to “restore his mental competency” so he may stand trial in the case.
Loughner seems to not recall the events that brought him to the cell, reports a local news source:
Within days, they had discussed security-camera footage from the Safeway store where the shooting occurred. The video shows Loughner firing all the bullets of a 9-mm Glock into a crowd, authorities have said. Loughner said the video was doctored.
“He believed that the government, possibly his attorneys, possibly law enforcement, had actually edited the version of the video,” [prison psychologist Dr. Christina] Pietz testified on Sept. 28, according to a recently unsealed court transcript. “He believed his attorneys were blackmailing him.”
Late in September, Pietz testified that Loughner “understands that he murdered people,” and reports indicate he is pacing angrily for less than an hour a day. However, it was also stated that he will require treatment for the rest of his life.