On Nov. 8, Jared Loughner was sentenced to seven life terms plus 140 years for the murder of six people in a Tuscon shooting rampage. Obviously, he is extremely dangerousness and needs to be incarcerated to prevent him from harming others.
However, his prosecution and sentencing raise an important question. He was arrested at the scene of the crime, and provided extensive psychiatric evaluation by the government. This evaluation concluded he was not competent to stand trial because he was irrational and delusional due to schizophrenia that pre-dated the shooting.
How does the government assert that he was competent during the commission of the crime, but not competent immediately afterward to stand trial? On what grounds was he prosecuted as competent after the government had determined he was incompetent? Maybe the Orwell Dictionary of double-speak could explain how incompetence is really competence?
Doug Contri, Psy.D.