Today Jared Lee Loughner was sentenced to seven life terms plus 140 years in prison for killing six Tucsonans, attempting to assassinate a congressional representative, and injuring and endangering numerous others.
There could have been a painful and protracted death penalty trial–painful especially for those of us whom Giffords once represented–and that there wasn’t is in large part because of this: the victims’ families made clear that wasn’t what they wanted. So instead, a guilty plea agreement that assures Loughner will spend the rest of his days in prison was reached.
It’s enough. And now it’s done.
I feel as if in seeking justice instead of vengeance, these families have given all of us in Southern Arizona a tremendous and healing gift, and I’m grateful for it.
Mark Kelly and Gabrielle Giffords were among those who addressed Loughner at the sentencing today. You can read Kelly’s comments here.