Jared Loughner, the 24-year old whose shooting rampage left former Representative Gabrielle Giffords with a near-fatal head wound last year, was sentenced today to seven consecutive life terms plus 140 years. There is no possibility of parole.
The sentencing took place with several of Loughner’s victims in the room. On the day he opened fire at an outdoor rally in Tucson, he killed six people and injured twelve others. Giffords was forced to undergo extensive, difficult surgery which left her without the ability to speak or function properly for months, until painful rehabilitation was completed. She and her husband, Mark Kelly, watched as he was handed his sentence today and Kelly followed it up with a statement which caused emotions to run high in the courtroom.
“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 a better place…You have decades upon decades to contemplate what you did. But after today, after this moment, here and now, Gabby and I are done thinking about you.”
As of now, it is unclear whether Loughner will be a candidate for the death penalty for his crimes, as although he was declared able to understand the charges against him, he has also been diagnosed with schizophrenia.