Monday, January 10, 2011
A high profile federal defense attorney who once practiced in San Diego will represent the suspect in the shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz., that took the lives of six people and wounded 12 others, including Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
Judy Clarke, who served as executive director of Federal Defenders of San Diego Inc. from 1983 to 1991, was appointed by the federal court to represent Jared Lee Loughner, 22, who has been charged with murder, attempted murder, along with attempted assassination of a member of Congress, CNN reported.
Clarke's clients have also included "Unibomber'' Ted Kaczynski, al Qaida terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui and Susan Smith, who drowned her two sons in South Carolina.
All were convicted or pleaded guilty, but none got the death penalty.
On Saturday, Loughner took a cab to a grocery store in Tucson where Giffords was holding a town hall-type gathering and allegedly opened fire with a Glock handgun with an extended cartridge holding about 30 bullets.
Giffords was shot in the head and underwent surgery. She remains in critical condition and it was unknown whether she will be able to return to Congress.
U.S. District Judge John Roll, 63, who had stopped by to say "hello'' was among the fatal victims, as was Christina Taylor Green, 9, of Tucson, whose father is a scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The other fatalities included Gabe Zimmerman, 30, Gifford's director of community outreach; Dorothy Murray and Dorwin Stoddard, both 76; and Phyllis Scheck, 79, a Republican who reportedly had gone to the event to shake the congresswoman's hand.
Authorities said they had recovered an envelope on which Loughner had written Giffords' name and the word "assassination.''
President Barack Obama issued a proclamation calling for a moment of silence for the victims at 8 a.m. Monday Pacific time.
"It will be a time for us to come together as a nation in prayer or reflection, keeping the victims and their families closely at heart," he said in the proclamation.