Tag: Jared Loughner

Court Accepts Jared Loughner's Guilty Pleas

Bump and Update: Here is the plea agreement. His life sentences will be consecutive and he waived his right to appeal.

Live updates from the Arizona Republic on the Jared Loughner competency hearing.

Dr. Christina Pietz, a Bureau of Prisons forensic psychologist, is testifying. She said Loughner has a factual, rational understanding of the role of jury, judge, prosecutors, judicial proceedings. He is now able to orient time and place, he no longer hears voices or other auditory stimuli.

Loughner asked for a job at the prison. He works two jobs. He stamps return addresses on envelopes and rolls towels,tee shirts and underwear for inmates. Pietz said he loves both jobs.

He understands prison is now his life and he will never get out. Pietz says with medication, he would not be a danger to others in the general population, but he could be at risk of being harmed by other inmates.

Loughner is present in court, and has been very still. His mother is also present. Defense attorney Judy Clarke had no questions when Dr. Pietz finished her testimony.

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AZ Court Confirms Loughner's Request to Plead Guilty

U.S. District Court Judge Larry Burns has issued this order in the Jared Loughner case:

A hearing on the defendant’s competency is scheduled for Tuesday, August 7 at 11:00 a.m. in Tucson. This Order confirms that hearing will go forward. If the Court finds the defendant competent, his counsel has requested a follow-on change of plea hearing.

Accordingly, assuming the Court finds the defendant competent, it will also consider whether
to accept the defendant’s proffered pleas at the August 7 hearing.

Our earlier post on the plea deal is here.

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Jared Loughner: Reports of a Guilty Plea and Life Sentence

Jared Loughner is expected to plead guilty Tuesday to charges resulting from his 2011 Tuscon shooting spree, in which former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and others were injured, and federal Judge John Roll and and others were killed. (Charges detailed here, the Superseding Indictment is here.) The unofficial reports, which have not been confirmed by the prosecution, defense or court, but are now being confirmed by every major media outlet (New York Times here), state that Loughner will plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence. I would expect the agreement to be a global one, that includes a representation that the state of Arizona will either not prosecute Loughner in state court, or at least, that it won't seek the death penalty.

Whether Loughner will make it through a guilty plea advisement remains to be seen. If the deal goes through, and I doubt his defense lawyers would sign on if they didn't think he could make it through the hearing, this will be another huge accomplishment for defense lawyer Judy Clarke, already a true master at how to save a life. More...]

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Jared Loughner Ruled Incompetent to Stand Trial

The experts and the Judge agree: Jared Loughner is mentally incompetent to stand trial.

What's next? He goes to the federal medical center at Springfield, MO for up to four months where they will medicate him and try to make him competent. If it works, he'll stand trial. If not:

If he isn't deemed competent at the end of his treatment, Loughner's stay at the facility can be extended. There are no limits on the number of times such extensions can be granted.

If the Judge decides at some point it's unlikely he can be restored to competency, the charges could be dismissed. He's still unlikely to be released. [More...]

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Loughner Arraigned, Judge Releases Search Warrant Documents

Jared Loughner, accused of murder, attempted murder and other crimes in the Arizona shooting case of Congresswomen Gabrielle Giffords, Chief Judge John Roll and others, pleaded not guilty in federal court today.

Over the objections of both the prosecution and defense, the Judge granted media requests for release of the search warrant documents in the case, with a few redactions. He said that because the investigation phase of the case was now over, the public had a right to see them. The defense, correctly in my view, argued among other things that the release of the documents could prejudice Loughner's right to an impartial jury. It asked that the documents not be released, at the earliest, before motions addressing the legality of the searches are determined. [More..]

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Feds Charge Jared Loughner With Murder of Federal Judge and Child Victim

The Government has obtained a 49 count superseding Indictment against Jared Loughner, accused of attempting to kill Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. He's now also charged with killing Chief Judge John Roll, whom the Indictment says was a federal employee engaged in the performance of his duties. He's also charged with causing the death of the young girl. The Superseding Indictment is available here.

At the end of the Indictment there's a special findings section, that reads like a list of aggravating factors for the death penalty.

I assume from this that the feds intend to seek the death penalty (although they haven't yet filed a notice of intent to seek the death penalty) and that Loughner will not face prosecution in state court for the murders.

If Loughner is only going to be prosecuted in federal court, I think his lawyers are breathing a little easier today. [More...]

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Building a Rapport With Hated Defendants

Your client is charged with a crime considered so awful that the entire country hates him. He becomes the new poster child for "the worst of the worst." How do you gain his trust to be able to provide an effective defense? This new profile of Judy Clarke, defending Jared Loughner, in the New York Times, provides some clues.

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Time for a Gag Order on the Government in the Jared Loughner Case

Here come the Government leaks in the Jared Loughner case. The Washington Post reports:

In the weeks and days before the shooting rampage in Tucson, suspect Jared Lee Loughner surfed the Internet on his computer in what investigators believe was an effort to prepare for his alleged assassination attempt, law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation said.

Loughner pulled up several Web sites about lethal injections and solitary confinement in prison, said the sources, who asked to be anonymous because the investigation is ongoing. He also viewed Internet sites about political assassins, according to an analysis of Loughner's computer that was completed by investigators last week, the sources said. (My emphasis.)

According to the Post: [More...]

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On Those Change of Venue Rumors for Jared Loughner

The Washington Post reported anonymous federal sources said a federal judge in Arizona would decide on moving the trial of Jared Loughner to San Diego and it would probably happen in the next few weeks. It predicted the trial would be moved. The Justice Department responded with a statement it would oppose any motion to move the trial out of Arizona.

Slow down. First, the Arizona federal bench has recused itself and only Judge Larry Burns, who has been assigned to preside over the case by designation, can make the decision.

Second, and more importantly, the trial can only be moved if Jared Loughner asks for it to be moved. [More...]

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How to Identify and Address Potential Mental Health Risks

In 2009, I supported Richard Aborn for District Attorney of Manhattan. I liked most of his stated policies (except the ones on gun control) and wrote about them often. Aborn lost to Richard Vance.

In the light of Jared Loughner, who while not a teenager, is still quite young, I started thinking about Richard's policies, which laid out concrete solutions that well could make a difference.

Again, I am not one of those calling for a gentler political discourse as I think the topic had little to do with Loughner's actions. I think his slide into mental impairment holds the key. The question becomes, since we know he's not the only unbalanced, unhinged, mentally impaired young person out there, how do we spot the next one and what do we do to turn him around?

This paper by Richard presents some excellent suggestions. I urge you to read it: BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE: A NEW STRATEGY FOR PREVENTING JUVENILE CRIME: [More...]

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Calif. Judge to Preside Over Jared Loughner's Case

Judge Larry A. Burns of the Southern District of California has been appointed by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to preside over the Arizona federal case of Jared Loughner. From the order (available on PACER)"

Based upon the circumstances occurring on January 8, 2011 in Tucson and the initiation of proceedings in conjunction with them, the impartiality of the District and Magistrate Judges in the District of Arizona might reasonably be questioned. It is therefore determined, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 455(a), all District and Magistrate Judges in the District of Arizona must be disqualified from presiding in this case and all related matters.

Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED all District and Magistrate Judges in the District of Arizona are recused from hearing case number 11-35M and all related matters.

The chief prosecutor will be Wallace H. Kleindienst. AUSA Patrick Cunningham has withdrawn. Entering their appearances to assist Kleindienst in the past few days are AUSA Mary Sue Feldmeier, Beverly K. Anderson, and Christina M. Cabanillas. So far the defense team consists of Judy Clarke, her associate Mark Fleming, and the Federal Defender's Office of San Diego.

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Jared Loughner's Parents Express Sorrow

The parents of Jared Loughner, accused of the Arizona shootings, have released a statement.

There are no words that can possibly express how we feel. We wish that there were, so we could make you feel better. We don’t understand why this happened. It may not make any difference, but we wish that we could change the heinous events of Saturday. We care very deeply about the victims and their families. We are so sorry for their loss.”

More former friends of Loughner are coming forward, some describing him as extremely paranoid. At times he thought there was a plot to kill him.

Two national polls show a majority of Americans do not believe the tone of political discourse in the country played a role in the shootings.

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