Jared Loughner Unfit to Stand Trial for Shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords

Jared Loughner, the man who shot Gabrielle Giffords, killed six others, and injured 13 more in Tucson on January 8 is not competent to stand trial according to a federal judge.

Loughner The Arizona Daily Star reports:

A psychologist and psychiatrist both found Loughner unable to help in his own defense or understand the proceedings.

Doctors say he is schizophrenic.

U.S. District Judge Larry A. Burns said doctors report Loughner is unable to help with his defense because of his irrational distrust of lawyers.

Loughner was ordered out of the courtroom earlier in the day following an outburst:

U.S. District Judge Larry Burns had Jared Lee Loughner escorted from the courtroom after Loughner lowered his head and said what sounded like: "Thank you for the freak show. She died in front of me." His head was inches from the table in front of him.

Loughner is to be hospitalized for up to four months to see if he can be restored to competency.


  1. Sargon Bighorn says

    Smart enough to buy guns, smart enough to shoot guns, smart enough to function in society, smart enough to use a car, smart enough to plan through an attack, smart enough to kill several people, NOT SMART ENOUGH TO STAND TRIAL! Way to go Judge.

  2. Brian in Texas says

    @ Sargon

    Mental Illness has nothing to do with intelligence. You can be schizophrenic and have a high functioning IQ. He has a lack of grasp on reality.

  3. says

    Well, it was pretty much obvious to anyone he’s insane, so I’m not surprised. So long as he’s not let loose on society again, I don’t care if he’s locked up in prison or a mental institution. The point is he can’t be around other people without an incredibly large amount of professionally-trained supervision.

  4. ratbastard says

    @Brian in Texas,


    Why is it so hard for many people to understand what an ORGANIC based illness/disease schizophrenia is, and differentiate it from [for example] so-called personality disorders [i.e. sociopaths, psychopaths]? Schizophrenia is the result of literally a physical problem/damage to the brain. I’m a law and order guy most of the time, but people like schizophrenics, especially paranoid schizophrenics, should not stand trial in a court of law. The best you can do is lock them up in a psych ward/hospital for the rest for the lives. And they shouldn’t be roaming around the streets either, but due to liberalization during the 1970s, it’s legally difficult to lock them up and/or force them to take meds. Such people really need to be treated with as much compassion as the retarded, but they aren’t [neither are retarded folks] in our society. And the ‘reform’ dating from the 60s-70s hasn’t improved matters. Now, instead of them being locked up [and often abused] in mental hospitals and ‘schools’, they roam the streets, many are homeless, end up in prisons, being taken advantaged of and abused, etc.,

  5. ratbastard says

    And if course a ‘mentally ill’ person can be of average or high intelligence, just like anyone else. Mental illness doesn’t = retardation. Hence the phrase: There’s a fine line between genus and insanity.

  6. Jesus says

    @RatBastard the correct word should be “developmentally delayed” or “developmentally disabled”, not “retarded”. That word is dated and emphasizes limitation, not potential.

  7. Rovex says

    Not wishing to sounds like a bleeding heart liberal here, but i wonder about the logic of fixing the guys mind just so you can punish him. I remember a case where a person with multiple personalities, and little or no recollection between them, who killed someone while in one personality. They tried to fix him in the most stable personality (one that didnt commit the crime). They them tried him and locked him up for life.

  8. homoDM says

    The logic of “fixing the guy’s mind” is not necessarily to “punish him,” but to give his victims the opportunity for justice and to give him the opportunity to participate in his defense.

    Granted, the evidence against him is overwhelming; so he will either need to plead “guilty” or “not guilty by reason of insanity” to save his life. Either way, he won’t be allowed on the street for a very long time.

  9. Don says

    If he can’t stand trial, maybe the people who sold him the gun can? Or perhaps all the legislators who stand in the way of reasonable laws that protect us and those with mental illness by not giving them access to the implements of slaughter. There isn’t another place on Earth where there is the understanding of how to avoid this kind of thing and yet, as a society, we give THIS man an automatic weapon. Oh yes, we probably deny him access to health care too.

  10. D.R.H. says

    His parents should be held responsible since there is much evidence that they neglected and even abused him. Not to mention, ignored the many cues that he was progressing into a state of mental illness. Parents should have to be licensed before they can have children.

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