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Judge: Loughner Is Mentally Unfit For Trial

From forgiving and forgetting (about their earlier conclusion jumping) New York Times:

Suspect in Shooting of Giffords Ruled Unfit for Trial

By MARC LACEY
May 25, 2011

TUCSON — A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Jared L. Loughner was not mentally competent to stand trial on charges that he opened fire at a constituent event for Representative Gabrielle Giffords in January, killing six and injuring her and 12 others.

The ruling by Judge Larry A. Burns of Federal District Court suspends the court proceedings against Mr. Loughner while the suspect, who experts said has schizophrenia, undergoes treatment at a federal psychiatric facility in Springfield, Mo.

Before the judge’s decision, Mr. Loughner disrupted the hearing with an outburst that prompted deputy marshals to carry him from the room. He will return to court on Sept. 21, when the judge will review again whether Mr. Loughner understands the 49 charges against him and can assist in his defense.

It remains possible, legal experts said, that Mr. Loughner will never be found competent, and could remain in a psychiatric facility indefinitely

And by "indefinitely" they mean that in five years Mr. Loughner could be released when his terrible crimes have faded from memory.

Mr. Loughner… rocked back and forth in his chair during the proceedings, buried his face in his hands midway through and interrupted the judge with an outburst.

“Thank you for the freak show,” he appeared to say. “She died right in front of me. You’re treasonous.”

He still probably sounds just like a typical Sarah Palin following, Tea Party supporting, rightwing radio talk show listener to the the Solons at the New York Times.

Other witnesses heard him say, “Thank you for the free shot,” and court officials were reviewing the recording to confirm

Somehow we suspect this is the more accurate report.

Expecting that he might act out, security personnel were positioned within two feet of Mr. Loughner and quickly spirited him out of the room…

"Act out" could well be the operative phrase here.

Judge Burns’s ruling that Mr. Loughner was incompetent followed the recommendations of two experts, Christina Pietz, a psychologist who works for the Bureau of Prisons and was appointed by the prosecution, and Dr. Matthew Carroll, a psychiatrist in private practice in San Diego appointed by the judge.

Dr. Pietz conducted 12 interviews with Mr. Loughner over nine hours. She found that his thoughts were random and disorganized and that he suffered delusions and offered nonsensical answers to her questions. She diagnosed schizophrenia.

Similarly, Dr. Carroll found after five interviews over seven hours that Mr. Loughner experienced delusions, bizarre thoughts and hallucinations and appeared to suffer from paranoid schizophrenia, the judge said.

And still no mention of Sarah Palin or Rush Limbaugh?

Dr. Carroll considered whether Mr. Loughner was faking a mental illness but reported that he showed no signs of that, the judge said

What exactly would those signs be?

Judge Burns said he reviewed the hours of videotaped interviews and agreed with the experts’ conclusions. “At the present time, Mr. Loughner does not have a rational understanding of these proceedings,” Judge Burns said, ordering him treated for up to four months

Let’s just say we have our own doubts about the state of Mr. Loughner’s incapacity.

Mr. Loughner’s parents, Randy and Amy, who were in the courtroom, sobbed when the judge said experts believed the suspect’s mental health had been in decline for two years. Since his arrest, Mr. Loughner’s classroom outbursts at Pima Community College here, which expelled him, and his bizarre rantings on the Internet have come to light.

And yet all of those highly educated academics did nothing. They chose ‘tolerance.’

Before court, prosecutors met with shooting victims to prepare them for the judge’s ruling and let them know that it could be years before Mr. Loughner is ever tried. The case of John W. Hinckley Jr. was mentioned, although he did stand trial for the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan and was found not guilty by reason of insanity in 1982, a result that led to passage of a law narrowing the use of the insanity defense in federal courts

A law which would seem to have had very little effect, if all you have to do is convince a couple of psychiatrists and a judge that you are incompetent to stand trial in the first place.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, May 25th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “Judge: Loughner Is Mentally Unfit For Trial”

  1. Right of the People says:

    What do you think the odds are if Loughner was a “right-wing whackjob” who worshiped Sarah Palin and Rush that he would have been declared unfit? The judge probably would have considered his behavior “normal” for a conservative and he’d be getting the chair.

  2. Liberals Demise says:

    We should run some psychiatrists to D.C. immediately.
    Talk about a city full of incompetence!!
    Mentally unfit and a scourge to society……..yep, yep!


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