Giffords to Confront Gunman in Court

Jared Lee Loughner set for life sentencing

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 8, 2012 6:29 AM CST

(Newser) – The Arizona gunman who killed six people and wounded 13, including former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, will be sentenced to life in prison this morning—and Giffords herself will be in the courtroom, Politico reports. A federal plea bargain this summer will put Jared Lee Loughner, 24, behind bars for life, but he will avoid the death penalty. Aided by her husband, Mark Kelly, the former lawmaker will address Loughner in court; several other victims also plan to speak, the AP reports.

Loughner and those close to him will also have an opportunity to speak, the Arizona Republic reports, and some of the victims are planning a press conference after the hearing. This summer, Loughner pleaded guilty to 19 federal charges in a deal that dismissed 30 other charges, but denies the possibility of parole as he serves seven life sentences plus 140 years in prison. "He has to pay the consequences for what he did, and justice will be served," says a victim. It's not yet known where he'll serve his sentence. Prosecutors could still file state charges against him, potentially seeking the death penalty, the AP notes.

Jared Lee Loughner.   (AP Photo/U.S. Marshal's Office, File)
Former US Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, watch the Space Shuttle Endeavor fly over Tucson, Ariz. on its way to Los Angeles, Thurs., Sept. 20, 2012.   (AP Photo/Southwest Photo Bank, P.K. Weis)
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