Mark Kelly, Gabrielle Giffords' Husband, Confronts Jared Loughner At Sentencing
By Charles Poladian | November 9, 2012 3:18 PM EST
Mark Kelly told Jared Lee Loughner at his sentencing Thursday for shooting Kelly's wife Gabrielle Giffords and others that he had failed.
Jared Lee Loughner, whose January 2011 shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz., killed six people and wounded then-Rep. Giffords and 12 others, was sentenced to seven consecutive life terms followed by an additional 140 years in prison, the Los Angeles Times reported.
At the hearing, Mark Kelly, Griffords and other victims of the shooting attack confronted Loughner. Each victim, and family members of the deceased took turns addressing Loughner and detailing how he affected their lives in the worst way possible.
Mary Stoddard, whose husband was shot to death by Loughner, said “"You took away my life. ... And my reason for living. And you did this because you wanted to," reports USA Today. But she ended her testimonial by saying, in the end, she had forgiven Loughner for what he had done.
Loughner was diagnosed with schizophrenia but was deemed fit to stand trial. According to U.S. District Judge Larry A. Burns, Loughner knew what he was doing and the consequences thereof, reports Los Angeles Times. Loughner will most likely serve his time in a psychiatric ward, reports USA Today.
Rep. Ron Barber, Giffords' aide and successor in the House of Representatives representing Arizona's 8th Congressional District, was also wounded during the shooting. Speaking at the hearing, Barber said, "I hold no hatred for you, but I am very angry and sick at heart about what you have done, and the hurt you have caused all of us," reports the Los Angeles Times.
By far, the most impassioned speech of the hearing belonged to Giffords' husband, astronaut Mark Kelly. Addressing Loughner, Kelly said, “Gabby would trade her own life to bring back any one of those you savagely murdered on that day,” reports Wall Street Journal.
“Mr. Loughner, by making death and producing tragedy, you sought to extinguish the beauty of life. To diminish potential. To strain love. And to cancel ideas. You tried to create for all of us a world as dark and evil as your own. But know this, and remember it always: You failed.” Kelly said.
Kelly also confronted the issue of gun control, criticizing Arizona's Legislature for refusing to address the issue. “We have a political class that is afraid to do something as simple as have a meaningful debate about our gun laws and how they are being enforced...As a nation we have repeatedly passed up the opportunity to address this issue. After Columbine, after Virginia Tech, after Tucson and after Aurora we have done nothing.”
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