Jared Loughner, who attempted to assassinate then Congresswoman Gabriel Giffords, killed six, and wounded thirteen in Tucson, Arizona, in January 2011 was sentenced to seven consecutive terms of life in prison without the possibility of parole yesterday. According to CNN, U.S. District Judge Larry Burns believed that even though 24-year-old Loughner suffered from mental illness, he was still aware of his actions during the shooting.
Giffords and her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, attended the sentencing hearing. Kelly, with Giffords by his side, addressed Loughner and said, “Mr. Loughner, you may have put a bullet through her head, but you haven’t put a dent in her spirit and her commitment to make the world and better place.” Nine other victims of the shooting were also present and spoke at the hearing.
Giffords, the first Jewish woman elected to Congress from Arizona, is considered a moderate “Blue Dog” Democrat. Supported by feminist groups, she is pro-choice and has stood up for comprehensive immigration reform, health-care reform, stem-cell research and raising the minimum wage, among other positions. Prior to the shooting, she had been the target of vandalism and inflammatory campaigns by conservative super PACs, such as Sarah Palin’s SarahPAC, who put forth a map of the U.S. with 20 locations marked with the crosshairs of gun sights to indicate 20 House Democrats, including Giffords, who voted for the health-care bill and thus should be removed from office.
Media Resources: CNN 11/8/12; New York Times 11/8/12; Feminist News 1/10/11