While Jan. 8 shooter Jared Loughner was sentenced to seven life terms and 140 years in prison Thursday in federal court, there was still a possibility that Arizona could prosecute the 24-year-old.
Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall declared today that she will not prosecute Jared Loughner on behalf of the State of Arizona for his shooting spree that took place on January 8, 2011 at the northwest side Safeway.
LaWall explained that her decision will afford the victims and their families, as well as the community in Tucson and Pima County an opportunity to move forward with their lives. She said that, after speaking and consulting personally with each of the surviving victims and with the family members of those killed, it was clear that they would not be benefitted by a State prosecution.
Surviving victims and family members told LaWall that they are “completely satisfied with the federal prosecution,” that “justice has been served,” the sentence is “suitably severe,” they “don’t know how much more we could take,” they would be “relieved not to testify,” and any further action by the County Attorney’s Office would be a “colossal waste of taxpayer’s dollars.”
In addition, LaWall noted that pursuing a State prosecution would be extraordinarily expensive, and might not be able to be completed given ongoing concerns and issues regarding Loughner’s mental state and his competency to stand trial.
The Pima County Attorney’s Office obtained jurisdiction to prosecute Jared Loughner on behalf of the State as soon as he was sentenced today to consecutive life sentences without parole in the Federal case.