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Old January 16, 2011, 12:50 PM   #1
chasep255
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AZ Shooter

I'm just wondering what do you guys think will happen to the shooter? Insanity, Life, or the Death Penalty?
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Old January 16, 2011, 12:55 PM   #2
Glenn E. Meyer
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If we want this to run, no vengeance rants or political character attacks. If you want to speak to the issue of how he should be treated - be factual, logical, etc.

You might want to read up a bit on the history of the insanity defense before opining.
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Old January 16, 2011, 01:02 PM   #3
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According to About.com
Quote:
Although definitions of legal insanity differ from state to state, generally a person is considered insane and is not responsible for criminal conduct if, at the time of the offense, as a result of a severe mental disease or defect, he was unable to appreciate the nature and quality or the wrongfulness of his acts.
It then goes on to say
Quote:
This reasoning is, because willfull intent is an essential part of most offenses, a person who is insane is not capable of forming such intent. Mental disease or defect does not alone constitute a legal insanity defense. The defendant has the burden of proving the defense of insanity by clear and convincing evidence.
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Old January 16, 2011, 01:05 PM   #4
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I'd say death penalty, personally. Regardless of his sanity, he killed several people including a child. Many others here subscribe to an eye-for-an-eye train of thought? Seems, like life in prison would draw out misery for the guy- but I don't feel it fits the crime.
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Old January 16, 2011, 01:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Although definitions of legal insanity differ from state to state, generally a person is considered insane and is not responsible for criminal conduct if, at the time of the offense, as a result of a severe mental disease or defect, he was unable to appreciate the nature and quality or the wrongfulness of his acts.
This is a federal prosecution which follows will use the M'Naghten standard.

The defendant has very competent, experienced attorneys who have successfully avoided the death penalty against the vast resources federal government (e.g. there are over 200 FBI agents in Arizona working on this case now) in several high profile cases.
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Old January 16, 2011, 01:33 PM   #6
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It depends on several factors.
What venue will he be tried in, how good are his lawyers, and whether he does fit the definition of legally insane.

I'd think a finding of insanity would effectively be a life sentence, just as it is for Hinkley.
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Old January 16, 2011, 02:34 PM   #7
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The feds will get first crack at Loughner. Assuming the result there is unsatisfactory from the state of AZ's perspective, they can subsequently file charges against him; however, if the finding in federal court is not guilty by reason of mental defect/insanity, it will be extremely difficult to obtain a different verdict in state court.

Obtaining a not guilty by reason of mental defect result is normally a very difficult outcome for the defense to achieve; however, in this case Loughner appears to have left a lengthy and well-documented trail of bizarre behavior and disordered reasoning/thinking behind him. My guess is there's a 50/50 shot he gets the not guilty by mental defect verdict and spends the rest of his days in a federal mental hospital.
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Old January 16, 2011, 02:53 PM   #8
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I doubt he will go to trial. (he would be unable to aid in his own defence) Probably a mental instatution for life.
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Old January 16, 2011, 02:57 PM   #9
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dlb, you do realize that the standard for that is extremely high, right? And that if he is diagnosed with a treatable psychiatric condition in the pretrial phase, that the judge can order him to submit to treatment (including pharmaceuticals) for the duration of the pretrial and trial phases?

He's going to trial, unless somehow the govt and his attorneys come up with some sort of plea agreement, which seems exceptionally unlikely given the outrage and public interest attendant to this case.
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Old January 16, 2011, 03:55 PM   #10
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I think that will be it. He will take the plea agreement in exchange for a life time in a mental instatution. Putting him and everyone else through a trail would gain nothing. If he tries to fight it, there could be a trail. Sort of depends on just how far gone he really is.
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Old January 16, 2011, 06:18 PM   #11
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This guy is down the middle.

If you take a narrow view, then he certainly shows he has presence of mind to pre-meditate a murder. He planned ahead, purchased a gun & ammo, and even made a statement as to his intentions.

On the other hand, if you take a broader view this guy is a loony tunes.

I doubt he will get death. Probably life in prison or a mental institution.
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Old January 16, 2011, 08:15 PM   #12
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Arizona does NOT have innocent by reason of insanity, we have Guilty But Insane, so the insanity defense merely means he goes into our mental health program here in the prison system. We have plenty of spots for him. We also have the Death Penalty, and are experianced in it's use.
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Old January 16, 2011, 08:20 PM   #13
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armoredman, thanks for the correction - I should know that, given I lived there for two years - or is that a fairly recent change in the law?

That will, obviously, have grave implications for Loughner's defense in federal court, as it now precludes a plea bargain for any sort of diminished capacity or insanity defense.
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Old January 16, 2011, 08:35 PM   #14
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We changed that about 10-15 years ago, IIRC.
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Old January 16, 2011, 09:11 PM   #15
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The minimum sentence is going to be life. I expect his defense team would try to prove insanity so that it is life in a hospital versus life in prison even if this involves admitting to doing the crime. I doubt the prosecutors will plea bargain this and will make a strong effort for the death penalty.
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Old January 16, 2011, 10:51 PM   #16
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If the feds get him it will be a hospital, if we get him it will be a maximum custody lockdown unit.
IF he is is convicted of course, everyone is innocent until proven guilty, even one with so much evidence against him.
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Old January 19, 2011, 02:19 AM   #17
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Unlike John Hinckley, who was found not guilty by reason of insanity, I believe Loughner will be found "guilty but insane" or "guilty but mentally ill" which is the new PC term. That will get him a one way trip to the local asylum but that does not mean he will never get out. Even Hinckley has been allowed a couple of outside visits.

HERE is a page full of NYT articles on this subject.

There are numerous papers on this subject as well.
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Old January 19, 2011, 02:55 AM   #18
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I think he will get the insanity deal. If he does by some chance go to an actual prison he will more than likely get shanked for killing the little girl. Even prisoners don't take kindly to that.
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Old January 20, 2011, 12:17 AM   #19
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I think his girlfriend was right. He knew exactly what he was doing. I think all the crazy stuff was for a future defense. I think he should get executed for what he done. I think life in a mental hospital is what he has planned for.
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Old January 20, 2011, 10:28 AM   #20
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It won't be hard nowadays to penetrate a faked mental illness. Esp. if he is claiming advanced paranoid schizophrenia. So I wouldn't worry about that.
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Old January 20, 2011, 10:48 AM   #21
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There was too much planning and premeditation I believe to get off with insanity in the current system. Proving he didnt know what he was doing was wrong in this society is going to be a real uphill battle.
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Old January 20, 2011, 11:29 AM   #22
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I think he'll get life in prison without the possibility of parole(if they have the right to give life without parole depending on the state law). I think it is safe to say that there very well might be a seperate conviction for federal crimes, and that conviction if and when he is found guilty will not be a concurrent sentence. I think it is interesting that the trial will be in san diego and not AZ. I plan on researching if it will be AZ, CA, or a mix of their laws because I have never thought of that before? I understand the exact reason why trials are moved in big publicity cases; I just thought it was interesting.
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Old January 20, 2011, 11:42 AM   #23
Glenn E. Meyer
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Planning and premeditation aren't the crucial variables - it will depend on AZ and Federal statutes. Then who has custody of him for actual sentence or insanity provisions will be important

Also, if he is found insane or guilty and insane, he will go to involuntary psychiatric treatment and be forced to take neuroleptic meds, most likely. These can be very, very unpleasant with all kinds of permanent and nasty side effects.

No who is thinking rationally would set themselves up for that life.

This is a very technical issue, so surface analyses are really worth too much, yet.
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Old January 20, 2011, 11:53 AM   #24
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The insanity plea is the same as a guilty plea to me. I know that's not how it works, but it's heavily abused and the definition and considerations for insanity have been, well, insanely blurred.

I never got the argument....


"Listen, I only went out and shot 20 people because I'm insane."


REALLY!? You DON'T say!! Seems pretty obvious to me, seeing how sane people don't go shoot 20 people....


Anyway, I digress.

I say death penalty. Simply because it's the governments job to protect the people. There's no rehabilitating this guy. There's no reasoning with him. There's no reason to keep him in jail for 70 years.
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Old January 20, 2011, 12:10 PM   #25
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If he is "insane", would he realize that he was about to get shot himself?

He's probally insane and won't realize what's happening.

Shoot him.
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