Arizona mass-murderer Jared Lee Loughner reportedly filed a lawsuit against the congresswoman he shot in the head, Gabby Giffords, but according to Reuters and other outlets this morning, it appears the suit is a hoax. The $25 million suit was filed on March 18, and hit the news wires yesterday, where it was widely reported for its outrageous claims that Rep. Gabby Giffords was a “government assassin” and that the government was controlling Loughner with a “microchip” in his brain.
“My incarceration is illegal. I am actually innocent. I was framed,” the complaint reads, it continues to allege that Gabby Giffords wasn’t shot and is a part of a “global plot to take away our civil liberties.”
The bizarre lawsuit, as reported by Inquisitr, covers some pretty strange territory. It alleges that Loughner was waterboarded every day by agents of the NSA, the CIA, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. We know now, though, that the lawsuit is, in all likelihood, a hoax.
The Loughner v. Giffords lawsuit was picked up by a local Arizona website, Tucson News Now, with a story bearing the headline “Loughner suing Giffords, federal government for $25 million,” shortly after it was updated with the important addendum: “may be a hoax.” But, big news outlets like Fox News and the Hill picked up the story and ran with it before Tuscon News Now could follow-up and verify whether or not the Loughner v. Giffords suit was actually a legitimate lawsuit filed on the behalf of Loughner, the Arizona shooter.
As of this reporting, outlets like CBS News, the Hill, and the Arizona Republic have published retractions, or deleted their original articles entirely. The Loughner v. Giffords hoax comes on the heels of another, similar lawsuit which was proved to be a hoax after being picked up by international media. The other suit was allegedly filed by the shooter, John Brian Dalton, who was charged with murder after his shooting spree while working as a driver for rideshare service Uber.
The question remains, however, who filed the Loughner v. Giffords suit, and why? According to the Hill, the lawsuit was filed by a “disturbed prisoner” in Philadelphia, impersonating Jared Lee Loughner, the shooter who was sentenced to seven consecutive life sentences for a shooting in January, 2011, which left six people dead, and thirteen wounded – including then-congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head by Loughner.
The news media, including the Inquisitr, reported on the lawsuit when it was filed, and despite its bizarre content, the Loughner v. Giffords suit seemed – at first – to be genuine, particularly considering the recent developments in Loughner’s prison care. The mentally-disturbed Jared Lee Loughner was ruled “mentally incompetent” by a federal judge in 2011, when he began to be forcibly medicated. Since then, the federal judge claims that the medication has had a tangible effect on Loughner’s ability to reason, leading some to speculate that he may have been competent enough to aid in his own defense during his court case in 2012.
“He is a different person in his appearance and his affect than when I first laid eyes on him, but he knew what he was doing despite his mental illness,” said U.S. District Judge Larry Burns who ruled that Loughner was fit for trial, and at the conclusion of the trial, sentenced Loughner to life imprisonment.
The storm of social media outrage over the Loughner v. Giffords suit will undoubtedly die down now that it has been revealed to be a hoax, but what remains to be seen is whether or not the “disturbed prisoner” behind the Loughner v. Giffords hoax will be punished or named by the news media.
[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]