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Loughner Found Competent, Pleads Guilty to Avoid Death Penalty

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Beaker, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. Beaker

    Beaker Active Member

    Pleads guilty to 19 counts (NYT on twitter).

    Gabby Giffords is satisfied:

  2. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    Best possible outcome. He goes away, victims don't have to relive it, and we don't have to pay for a lengthy trial.
  3. Beaker

    Beaker Active Member

    Obviously we can't speak for the victims, but I do think it's probably the best result.
  4. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Give him the needle. He knew what he was doing.
  5. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Define competent. I'd plead insanity under the old lawyer line "He HAD to be insane, because no sane person could possibly have done what he did."

    I've seen it work before.
  6. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    Then we'd have to go through a trial. I don't think somebody can plead guilty and still get the death penalty. The state won't help someone commit suicide.
  7. Beaker

    Beaker Active Member

    Sure, as long as he pled knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily, then there's no problem with the plea.

    Good deal for the state. Save both the expense of a trial (where one, his competency to stand trial would have to be continuously assessed, and two, have to deal with an expensive insanity trial) and the death penalty.

    Given that he was found to be incompetent to stand trial (granted, a more lenient standard than legal insanity) shortly after committing the offense, there was always the risk that the insanity defense would succeed, in which case, the death penalty clearly wouldn't be an option regardless.
  8. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    You CAN plead guilty without a plea agreement, thereby leaving the door open to all punishment options. It's just highly unusual, especially with the death penalty on the table. Certainly no one would cut a deal that left that on the table (might as well take your chances at trial, a la Casey Anthony). Even if they did, I doubt a judge would approve it.

    But if you say you want to plead guilty on your own, they're not gonna stop you.
  9. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    I don't know that a sane person would plead guilty knowing that death is the likely sentence.
    Though come to think of it, there was a case six or seven years ago, a federal carjacking case in Massachusetts, where a guy pleaded guilty. They went through the sentencing phase of the trial and sentenced him to death.
    I believe the death sentence was overturned a few years ago, however, but not because he pleaded guilty. It had something to do with someone on the jury.
  10. TigerVols

    TigerVols Well-Known Member

    Had lunch yesterday with a fascinating guy -- former Waco DA who discovered that the Texas Rangers [ cue the baseball jokes] were pinning 60 murders on a guy who didn't do them...the DA got the guy sprung for 3 of the non-murders and, as a result, got himself square in the crosseyes of some pissed off Rangers. I won't go into detail, but you can Google Vic Freazell for the deets.

    Anyhoo, Vic told me that although he was personally against the death penalty, as a DA he sent 5 people to Death Row because that was the job he was elected to do. What's this got to do with Loughner? Vic said had this crime happened in Texas, Loughner would have gotten the death penalty because, as he said, "they figure that if you use a knife or a gun in a crime, you are automatically sane...otherwise you'd try to shoot someone with a banana."

    Paging Starman.
  11. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Here's hoping a guard looks the other way if they ever release him into general population.

    I'm glad there's no trial for all the reasons mentioned, but this guy needs to be put down.
  12. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    Of course, that's the same state that considers the Lennie Small test an appropriate measure of mental retardation.
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