Giffords Seeks To Secure Her Home, Loughner Lawyers Start Defense


Arizona Democrat Gabrielle Giffords still hasn’t fully recovered from the shot in the head she received in January in a failed assassination attempt.  But in yet another sign that she is much further on the road to recovery, her family has finally informed her of the names of the staff members who died in the attempt on her life.  The Hill reports that although the Congresswoman was told that there had been six deaths, but not that one of them had been her own staffer, or that a young girl had been killed in the shooting.

Giffords has been moving ahead in other areas, too.  She recently sought approval from the Federal Election Committee for permission to upgrade the security on her Arizona home, which would cost about $2,200 and she would take out of campaign funds.  According to Roll Call, Giffords staff wrote in the request, “At the request of the House Sergeant-[at]-Arms, the United States Capitol Police … conducted a security assessment of the family home and her general threat risk using USCP standards and best industry practices.  After that assessment, the USCP made several recommendations to increase the security of the home that are specific to the identified needs of Rep. Giffords’ security.”

The trial of Jared Lee Loughner, who shot at Giffords, her staff and constituents in January at an open town hall style meet and greet, isn’t scheduled to start until September 21st, but lawyers are already preparing the groundwork for a defense based on mental illness. According to the New York Times, lawyers are delving deeply into the accused’s family background, searching for other family members that have show signs of instability or disorders that can be used to build a case around.  Loughner was declared mentally incompetent to stand trial back in May, but has been receiving medication at a facility since then, and the September hearing will decide if he has improved enough to understand the charges against him.

Related Stories:

What’s Next For Gabrielle Giffords?

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords to Attend Husband’s Shuttle Launch on Friday

Sheriff Joe Versus Rep. Giffords?

photo credit:United States Congress

Love This? Never Miss Another Story.


Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle4 years ago

Poor Giffords. So much to deal with -- finding out about the other deaths -- she was particularly close to her aide.

The gunman had so many instances of strange behavior reported by people before this happened, that I always wondered why someone hadn't tried to get him help -- his parents, a teacher? Often the most horrific crimes are done by people who are sick. This young man will be punished I'm sure because it is such a high-profile case. I think he needs continuing psychological help, not retribution (revenge) by our legal system.

Anon Mous
Jorie H.4 years ago

In agreement with the people below who say it's a mistake to pin this on mental illness: statistically, as a group, people with mental illnesses are less violent than people without.

alex l.
alex l.4 years ago

i think the reason people fear those with mental illness is precisely because it is used in cases like this, to excuse murder.
as a result, the public is left with the idea that mentally ill people are murderous, psychopathic monsters. sadly, i have a friend who's family is deeply effected by schizophrenia. three of her four siblings have it. but not one of them is violent or mean. they are just people with an illness that are trying to live their life. even at their worst, when they couldn't find meds that worked for them, the worst they did was get upset and confused.
most people who suffer from mental illness are dealing with depression or PTSD or something similar.
none of those things make you a monster.
i think in some cases they person may be psychotic - meaning they really don't know what they are doing - but i think those cases are rare. for the most part, it is just a defense that is used by their lawyer so that s/he can win a case.

Linda T.
Linda T.4 years ago

Gun toters are good for gun safe communities. Employers keep businesses in gun safe communities.

Michael MacDonald

*It's a whole separate thing

Michael MacDonald

excuse the typos.

Michael MacDonald

Mental illnesses don't make you a bad person or make you a killer.
You can be a good or a bad person whether you're mentally ill or not and you mental illness has nothing to do with which one you are.
It's a while separate thing and I wish people would see it that way.
People have no idea of what they're talking about when it comes to them because they watch shows like CSI all day long that paint the picture that we're all monsters while that couldn't be any farther from the truth.

please stop taking away the much needed attention from the real issue.
Conservatism can still exist for all I care,
but all of that hatred they spew has got to go
because this is the result of it.

Michael MacDonald

@Linda C.

actually to blame it only on mental illness is a slap in the face to all mentally ill people.
It's nothing short of discrimination to assume that mental illness is the only thing that makes people do such horrible things.
If anyone here saying this actually knew enough mentally ill people,
they would realize that the vast majority of us are completely non-violent and are only a danger to ourselves.

Not only is that a wrong assumption to make about mental illness,
but blaming it only on his mental illness requires you to ignore the fact that this guy hated liberal people because of right wing ideology.
He tried to kill Giffords because he was right wing and hated all of us.

If you can't see that basic fact, then you just don't want to believe that this has anything to do with party lines.

Well, it does.
There is no denying it,
because the guy made it perfectly clear that he did this for political reasons.

besides that, a psychotic episode has to be triggered by something and they are rash decisions that are not pre-planned.
This was obviously pre-planned and though through.
even more evidence that this was not a psychotic episode.

Given the fact that sarah palin even had crosshairs on all of the democrats posted on her site while inciting people to violence,
your response to our suggestion that this has to do with his political ideals
is nothing short of denial.

Mental illnesses don't make you a bad person or make you a killer.
You c

Grace Adams
Grace Adams4 years ago

I didn't have any trouble reading the petition. Alan West would probably suspect the homosexuals of their homosexuality even if they were celibate. Even though it really isn't any of his business.

Rosemary G.
Rosemary G.4 years ago

Oh yah and one more thing: To all you gun toting idiots out there..Guns don't kill right?