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May 25, 2011

Judge Rules Jared Lee Loughner Incompetent (Due To Insanity) to Stand Trial


Technically the test is the capacity to know right from wrong, and by calling his attack an "assassination," he evidenced he knew it was wrong and illegal. He also telegraphed his knowledge that he'd be arrested for it.

So technically, he's sane.

But a judge says no.

Jared Loughner, who is charged in connection with the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the killing of six others, was ruled incompetent to stand trial by a federal judge at a competency hearing today in Phoenix.


U.S. District Judge Larry Burns found Loughner, 22, described by his own legal team as "gravely mentally ill," was incapable of understanding the proceedings against him and assisting in his own defense.

The decision came shortly after Loughner was hustled out of the courtroom for an outburst that disrupted the hearing. He spent five weeks undergoing psychiatric evaluations at a federal prison hospital in Missouri.

He is gravely mentally ill. But that's a psychiatric description, not a legal one.

In all honesty, the legal test is extremely stingy and only permits findings of "not competent" for those who experience actual visual hallucinations and the like. Because only that sort of person can say, "I thought I was killing a demon."

Mark David Chapman could pass that test because of his delusion that John Lennon had replaced him as a clone or whatever it was.

Still, stingy or not, the test is the test.

He was removed from court due to his outburst.

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posted by Ace at 03:48 PM

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