The man accused of the 2011 shooting that killed six and wounded 13 others in Tucson pleaded guilty on Tuesday.
Jared Lee Loughner, 23, is expected to spend the rest of his life in prison with no chance of parole under the plea deal.
Tuesday’s court hearing came only after a judge decided months of medication had treated Loughner’s schizophrenia to the point that he could understand the proceedings.
In a statement released on Monday, Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, said they were satisfied with the terms of the deal.
“The pain and loss caused by the events of Jan. 8, 2011, are incalculable,” Kelly said. “Avoiding a trial will allow us — and we hope the whole Southern Arizona community — to continue with our recovery and moved forward with our lives.”
If the case had gone to trial, Loughner could have faced the death penalty. Prosecutors pushed for the deal because they were concerned Loughner’s mental state could make a guilty verdict less likely.
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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