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.
photo credit:United States Congress