Breaking Legal News - POSTED: 2012/11/09 16:29
The pain was palpable, measured in silent stares in the courtroom between an emotionless murderer and wounded former congresswoman who looked her attempted killer in the eyes for the first time since he shot her in the head.
Gabrielle Giffords limped to the podium Thursday, her astronaut husband by her side, inside a packed Tucson courtroom before a judge ordered Jared Lee Loughner to spend the rest of his life in prison.
It was the first time since the January 2011 shooting rampage that his victims would get a chance to speak their minds directly to him. Loughner sat silent, but appeared to absorb every word, his blank gaze fixed on each victim as they scolded him, told stories of their pain and loss and recounted those horrific moments when gunfire changed their lives forever.
"You killed six innocent people," said Giffords' husband, Mark Kelly. "Her life has been forever changed. Plans she had for our family and her career have been immeasurably altered. ... Every day is a continuous struggle to do those things she once was so good at."
Giffords, wearing a black brace around her torso, looked closely at the 24-year-old Loughner for several minutes without uttering a word.
Loughner looked on, appearing to listen, but showing no emotion. His mother sobbed nearby.