Judge: Loughner not competent to stand trial in Arizona shootings
No longer bald and clean-shaven as he was shortly after his January arrest, Loughner on Wednesday had a full head of hair, along with facial hair.
May 25th, 2011
03:18 PM ET

Judge: Loughner not competent to stand trial in Arizona shootings

Jared Lee Loughner is not competent to stand trial on charges of trying to assassinate U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday.

The judge said his ruling is based on the results of court-ordered medical evaluations of Loughner at a federal hospital in Springfield, Missouri. Two medical professionals did separate evaluations of Loughner.

The U.S. attorney general will take custody of Loughner for a period not to exceed four months, during which he will be taken to a hospital for further evaluation to determine if he will become competent to stand trial.

Loughner, 22, of Tucson, Arizona, is charged with killing six people and wounding 13 more, including Giffords, D-Arizona, who was holding a meet-and-greet with constituents in Tucson at the time of the January 8 shooting.

During Wednesday's hearing in Tucson to determine Loughner's competency, marshals removed Loughner from the courtroom after an outburst in which one reporter heard him say, "Thank you for the freak show. She died right in front of me," and "You're changing ..."

After the recess, U.S. District Judge Larry Burns asked Loughner if he wanted to watch the remainder of the proceedings on a television monitor, Loughner said yes, and he was removed from courtroom.

Those killed in January's shooting were a 9-year-old girl, Christina Taylor Green; John Roll, a 63-year-old U.S. District Court judge in Arizona; Gabriel "Gabe" Zimmerman, 30, Giffords' director of community outreach; retired librarian Phyllis Scheck, 79; retired construction worker Dorwin Stoddard, 76; and retiree Dorothy "Dot" Morris, 76.

Loughner has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Giffords, who was shot through the head and brain, is recovering from surgery that implanted a synthetic bone and a shunt in her skull, her doctors said last week. She was in attendance last week when the Space Shuttle Endeavour took off from Florida with her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, in command.

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Filed under: Arizona • Courts • Crime • Justice
soundoff (201 Responses)
  1. Johnny

    He isn't being released. They'll hold him until he's declared competent or dead. Whichever comes first.

    May 25, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. johntherealman

    How about we send him to Mexico and drop him off at a narco runned town so they can torture him.

    May 25, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Chuck

    Davis,
    Are you kidding me?
    This incompetent want to be human being shouldn't be breathing my good air; let alone spending my tax dollars.
    I don't want to see him in prison, I want to see him in hell.

    May 25, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Johnny

      If you want a justice system that's barbaric I suggest you move to Iran.

      May 25, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Davis

      No I am not kidding. There is no way that the system will ever allow a civilian to execute a prisoner as you suggested. I think he should die but not by your hand. Hit the power button on the entertainment center.....you know you want to! 🙂

      May 25, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Omar

    I blame Sarah Palin!

    (All the major networks did, the very same day it happened . . . Remember?).

    May 25, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ragweed

    What better reason is there to justify ridding society of this worthless sociopath. While we're at it, get two kits, one for him, and one for the judge who made this ridiculous ruling.

    May 25, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Larry

    Criminals are always competent enough to commit the crime but never competent enough to be held accountable.

    May 25, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      "Never"? Making an extreme statement, are we?

      May 25, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Starstuff

    This is the problem, all these tea baggers and right-ies promoting violence using their 2nd amendment 'solutions' fall in the same category. These nuts are so out there in terms of mental sanity that they are not even competent to be put on trial... and in the last election we elected a whole bunch of them.

    May 25, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Loughner was a liberal...

      May 25, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  8. brownstain

    Get him 20 yrs. initial treatment at Joe Arpaio's pink underwear gulag. Then treat him to 30,000 volts in Florida's old sparky.

    May 25, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ragweed

    Sorry, I misspoke. I meant to say "worthless" judge.

    May 25, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  10. CJPA

    I am a mild mannered woman who usually gives people the benefit of the doubt, but if this federal judge finds him incompetent to stand trial, then he should go directly to Death Row! He can smile there all he wants until his last breath!

    May 25, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. guest

    Nice! so yet another mo-fo criminal walks free to do the same thing again... I though this country was great, righteous, well clealey our judicial system sucks. It odes not matter if you are mentally competent, any human being knows htat killing another huamn being (or 6 in this case) is wronr. Put this guy away.

    May 25, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      You obviously have no comprehension as to what this means: he's going to be in a secure facility, separated from others and medicated until he is fit to be tried. He is not going free, he is going to be locked up in a looney bin or prison the rest of his pitiful life- something you may need to do as well, considering that you can't be bothered to actually read the story, comprehend the situation and logically think things through.

      May 25, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Joe

    Hmm if only this happened in Texas...

    May 25, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Yeah BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

    Shock and awe

    May 25, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ME

    He looks like uncle fester. Hea can't stand trial, but that doesnt mean he can't be fried. Get the chair and 100000000 amps.

    May 25, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  15. pjoe

    If he's competent enough to load the weapon and pull the trigger ... he's competent enough to stand trial. Get a rope!

    May 25, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • brando

      your comment makes no sense. you say he should stand trial, and then you say get a rope, which i can only assume you meant that to mean you'd string him up with it. why bother with a trial then if you already want to punish him in the vein of iranian or egyption justice systems? please, try to make up your mind of what kind of society you want to live in please, because iran i'm sure would be happy to take you in as a citizen if that is the kind of "justice" you believe in.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
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