Dozens of witnesses (along with half-a-dozen security cameras) watched Loughner (allegedly) walked up to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords on January 8 and shoot her in the head at point blank range. They saw him fire on others at the political event outside a Tuscon Safeway, killing six, including a federal court judge and a nine-year-old Girl Scout. Thirteen others were wounded in the shooting.
Whatever your personal view on capital punishment, Arizona has the death penalty. One of the arguments in favor of the death penalty is that it deters criminals from committing similar crimes.
When Jared Loughner was formally charged with his crimes last month, he entered the courtroom smiling. He chuckled as the charges were read. Then his attorney entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.
Despite dozens of witnesses and confirming video, Loughner still entered a plea of not guilty.
This paves the way for a long, costly trial for Loughner. No doubt his mental competence will be questioned in court. Clearly Loughner’s a madman, but there’s also strong evidence he planned his crimes well in advance. In fact, police seized signed notes from Loughner’s safe that read “I planned ahead,” “My assassination,” and “Giffords.”
I feel bad for Loughner’s parents. I feel worse for his victims. But ultimately there’s no one to blame but Jared Loughner himself. Is he insane? Probably. Is he a danger to society? Unquestionably.
We live in a country where people are innocent until proven guilty. Our legal system grants everyone the right to a swift and fair trial. That’s one of the things that makes America great.
But what about swift justice for victims?
Hey, Hey, Hey. Good-bye
If there was ever a case for eschewing the standard legal machinery and fast-tracking execution, Jared Loughner is the guy. It’s hard to think of another case where someone’s guilt was so blatant. Despite his attorney’s plea, Jared Loughner is not “not guilty.” He’s a cold-blooded, premeditated murderer.
Why should we pay for him to sit in prison, read books, and surf the Internet for the next 65 years? Why isn’t he strapped into Ol’ Sparky, riding the lightning to a Judgement Day beyond the humanity he so despised?
Random acts of violence are happening with greater frequency because A) The world is full of mentally unstable people, and B) It’s easy for them to get guns.
But maybe, if Loughner were executed within weeks of committing his murderous spree, the next campus shooter or workplace rager would think twice before resorting to violence.
So, why is Jared Loughner still alive?
Originally published in Wayne TODAY, February 2011