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.

FULL STORY
Post by: ,
Filed under: Arizona • Courts • Crime • Justice
soundoff (201 Responses)
  1. boholden

    but competent enough to own a semi-automatic pistol & high-capacity magazine

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

      The sanity of anyone who thinks they need a gun can be seriously questioned, anyhow.

      May 25, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patricia

      irrelevant!!

      May 25, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. R.D.G.

    Try him and then fry him the same day.

    May 25, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Cricket

    @Bill:
    Why is EVERYTHING you comment on a conspiracy? Paranoid much?
    That's a sign of mental illness, too, ya know.

    May 25, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. king

    He was competent enough to purchase a weapon, find the correct ammo, and locate U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. I'd say he's competent enough to stand trial for the heinous crimes that he has committed.

    May 25, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      Well, that is why you are not a judge. Anybody's granny can see that the guy is nuts.

      May 25, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patricia

      Crazy people are everywhere blending in with society: holding down jobs, driving cars, in positions of power. They are still crazy nonetheless. His ability to do some things doesn't mean he's competent.

      May 25, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. CCL

    I do not agree with capital punishment. It's not a matter of understanding, it's a matter of disagreeing. He needed help way before this happened and never received it. If he had been put on medication do you think this would have happened? I could go on and on about the (lack of)health care in America, and our gun laws but I see there is no point.

    May 25, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Thomas

    People on here obviously have no idea what happens when someone is found incompetent to stand trial. It is not a get out of jail free card. The law dictates that these people receive short-term treatment aimed specifically at enabling them to stand trial with as little delay as possible. Of course CNN left this little tidbit out in order to create sensationalism.

    May 25, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Davis

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! I know right? People suck. Now they are going to go and tell their friends that the judge let this nut get away with the killing.

      May 25, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  7. goldenrod

    It's so hard to believe that any judge would declare him incompetent. The families of the victims have to settle (for now) with the fact that their tax dollars will support the man who murdered their loved ones.

    May 25, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      Okay? That is going to happen, regardless of where he is- mental facility, prison, or death row. Think things through before you spout off nonsense.

      May 25, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      And, is it really hard to believe that a judge would find him incompetent? The guy is obviously nuts.

      May 25, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patricia

      I don't see the logic here – Their tax-paying dollars have been put toward keeping him off the streets and will go toward his care whether he is in a mental facility, in jail or on death row.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Patricia

    Very limited psych education here (only two 9 week clases) but from what basics I've learned, he seems very happy with himself and I doubt that he has remorse, which indicates a behavioral disorder of some kind. The ability to "plan" something doesn't make him any less crazy. In fact, some of them are very meticulous in their planning. This guy has lost the plot. I wonder what happens now?

    May 25, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      The state trial- in Arizona, they could try him anyway, and find him "guilty but insane", which would result in lifetime incarceration. If he is ever competent enough to stand trial in fed court, he'd probably get the DP, but he will be locked up for life one way or another.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patricia

      Thanks Dave.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. willie

    I am of the firm belief that normal competent people do not commit crimes like this. These decisions simply should not be made. He should stand trial for what he did regardless of his mental state. I feel this is a major flaw in the American judicial system.

    May 25, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Bob in Pa

    Skip the trial and just go straight to the hanging.

    May 25, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Cricket

    @Davis:

    I understand your points but how do you not understand that there is a point when a person is no longer a productive member of society and should be removed from it by death. If this isn’t a case where that should apply then I don’t know when there will be.
    This was Hitler's thought process when he murdered thousand of "mentally deficient" people.

    May 25, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      And in order to facilitate that process, we have a very strict system that must be followed. If you are going to exhort the law to do something, you should support the process, lest a technicality let him off the hook.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  12. king

    well however that is correct Thomas that he will receive a treatment session, if he doesn't pass the treatment given to him then two things can occur. They can say that he is not competent enough to plead guilty, and or that he is not competent to be given a death sentence. So despite what you said this is a big deal. If he doesn't come out of this treatment deemed competent still, then what the prosecutors can ask for is much less.

    May 25, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thomas

      I'm not saying the ruling isn't significant but a majority of the people on here seem to think it's way more than what it is.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      Much less? Eh, I tend to see the DP as pointless. Better to stick him in storage til he croaks- it's cheaper and doesn't shame our civil society.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • king

      fair enough

      May 25, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  13. GOP Right Wing Social Engineering to Kill Grandma Medicare

    Sarah Palin must be VERY PROUD!!!...that her call to not retreat, but to reload and putting bulleyes on her political enemies has been answered by a sicko Loughner!

    It's sad that he cannot stand trial but Palin & whoever sold this sick minded idiot the gun to kill the innocent should be put on trial and made to bear the consequences!!!

    May 25, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patricia

      Their actions may have enabled this man to go through with his plan, but enablers can't be put on trial with the accused, because they didn't do it – he did.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • rf924

      Wow, you're actually loonier than Loughner.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cesar

      Democrats do the bullseye thing too. Look it up. Take a xanax and relax. Most people are sick of both parties. Tell your dumbocrat buddies nobody likes them either.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      @rf: besides myself (if i am sane), she's the only one on here that is running on all cylinders.

      Loughner is insane. His cat could have told him to do it for all we know. Blaming anyone other than the gunman is irresponsible.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  14. goldenrod

    Hey CCL....would you still feel the same way if your 9 year old daughter was lying dead at the hands of a murderer? She'll never grow up because of the decision of one man.

    May 25, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    He was competent enough to know what "Crosshairs" meant or maybe it was Palin who is incompetent for pulling such a dirty sick stunt.

    May 25, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      Yes but competent for trial isn't the same as competency to know what "crosshairs" means.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patricia

      Where's the log in these threads with regard to the word "competent?" I'm competent in writing and critical thinking but incompetent at music and math.

      Since when does being competent in one area make one competent in all other areas?

      May 25, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patricia

      logic

      May 25, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      @Patricia: I place the blame for that on our failing schools and the mass media. People don't take the time to understand the implications of things- they merely parrot what they hear or take sensationalism to heart while ignoring fact and reason. Logic should be a required high school class.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patricia

      Dave, I definitely agree that logic should be a required high school class, but saying "he did this therefore he can do that" defies logic in the most BASIC sense. Mind-boggling.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cesar

      Dumbocrats use bullseyes and other "targets" in their campaign planning too. Maybe you should go protest in front of the DNC or a target store.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cesar

      No retort from the partisan sheep?

      May 25, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8