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Americas

Arizona gunman Loughner gets seven life terms

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-12-14

A US court sentenced gunman Jared Loughner to seven life terms on Thursday for killing six people and leaving US Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords fighting for her life after a 2011 shooting spree in Tucson, Arizona.

Convicted Tucson gunman Jared Loughner was sentenced to seven consecutive life terms plus 140 years in prison on Thursday for killing six people and wounding 13 others, including former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, in a rampage last year.

Loughner, 24, a college dropout with a history of psychiatric disorders, was handed the sentence following a plea deal with prosecutors in August that spared him the death penalty.
 
U.S. District Judge Larry Burns said the life sentences he imposed - one for each of the six people who lost their lives and a seventh for the attempted assassination of Giffords - represented the individuality of the victims.
 
“He will never have the opportunity to pick up a gun and do this again,” Burns said.
 
Giffords suffered a head wound that left her with speech difficulties, a paralyzed right arm, diminished sight and a limp.
 
Addressing the court along with several survivors of the Jan. 8, 2011, shooting, Giffords’ husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, told Loughner he had failed in his attempt to “extinguish the beauty of life.”
 
 
“Jan Brewer said it had nothing to do with the size of the magazine. ... She said this just one week after you used a high-capacity magazine,” Kelly said, also noting that she named a “state gun” weeks later instead of “fixing the education system.”
 
Loughner, asked at the outset of the hearing by Burns if he had chosen to waive his right to make a statement, answered in a low voice, “That’s true.”
 
He was otherwise silent as he sat next to his lawyer, Judy Clarke, gazing expressionless at the survivors who spoke in court during the proceedings. He displayed no visible sign of emotion when he was sentenced.
 
Giffords stood by her husband’s side, looking impassively at Loughner as Kelly addressed the defendant directly, in a clear, ringing voice. “You may have put a bullet through her head, but you haven’t put a dent in her commitment to make the world a better place,” Kelly told him.
 
“Although you were mentally ill, you were responsible,” he added. “You have decades upon decades to contemplate what you did, but from this moment, Gabby and I are done thinking about you.”
 
(REUTERS)

Date created : 2012-11-09

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