Gabby Giffords has signed off on Jared Loughner’s potential plea bargain, which would spare her shooter the death penalty. Loughner plead guilty Tuesday for a shooting rampage that killed six and wounded many more, including former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
The plea will spare Loughner the death penalty, and came soon after a federal judge ruled that months of forced medicinal intervention to treat Loughner’s schizophrenia have made the 23-year-old shooter competent to stand trial and assist in his own defense. Other shooting victims have expressed support for the bargain, which spares Loughner the death penalty in favor of a life sentence, reports Newser. Among the victims, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is also in favor of the deal that spares her shooter’s life, with her husband, Mark Kelly, telling the Wall Street Journal that they have reviewed the plea bargain, and are satisfied with it.
“Gabby and I have been in contact with the US Attorneys’ Office throughout this process. We don’t speak for all of the victims or their families, but Gabby and I are satisfied with this plea agreement,” Giffords’ husband said in a statement. “The pain and loss caused by the events of January 8, 2011 are incalculable. 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,” he concluded.
The plea bargain, and subsequently sparing Loughner from a federal death sentence, makes sense according to Pheonix public defender Dale Baich, who is not involved in the case. “As time went on and there were numerous evaluations, I think everybody had a better understanding of Mr. Loughner’s mental illness.” Mr. Baich said. “It appears that he will need to be treated for the rest of his life in order to remain competent.”
Jared Loughner was charged with 49 counts of murder and attempted murder, stemming from the January 2011 shootings. Six were killed, and another 13 were wounded, including Ms. Giffords, who resigned from Congress in order to focus on her recovery.
Do you think that Jared Loughner should be spared the death penalty?