Shooting victims praise Loughner plea agreement
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
Reporter: Craig Smith
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - For now, Jared Lee Loughner is at the Federal Prison on Wilmot. It's not clear where in the Federal Prison system he'll spend the rest of his life--- but after cutting six lives short, and changing many other lives forever, his life will end behind bars.
For the victims, the plea that saved Jared Lee Loughner from the death penalty, saved them from a trial that would have forced them to relive the day he brought pain and death to their lives.
Loughner wounded Suzie Hileman but killed Christina Taylor Green, the young friend she brought to the Congress on Your Corner event.
Hileman sighed as she said, "There's never closure because Christina's never gonna ring my doorbell again. The wound is always open and there's a hole in the world."
Loughner wounded retired Army Colonel Bill Badger. He was still able to help get the gun from Loughner and hold him down. Colonel Badger was pleased to hear Loughner take responsibility.
"And he knows he did it, and he admitted it today."
KGUN9 reporter Craig Smith asked Colonel Badger: "Does the expected sentence feel like justice to you?"
Colonel Badger: "Yes. I'm really pleased with the sentence because now we can go ahead and start to heal and put our lives back together."
Ron Barber was Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' district director the day Loughner shot both of them. When she resigned to focus on her recovery, voters elected Barber to take her place.
Barber said, "My hope is what happened today in this court can help all of us move forward and continue our healing process."
Loughner is clearly a killer, but the people he hurt are willing to show mercy.
Shooting victim Jim Tucker said, "There's this book I read that says three requirements: One, to do justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. And I think today that first step was achieved and I think that second step was also put into play. And I think if we all take that third step our society is going to be a lot better to live in."
The victims speak of mercy because they understand Loughner is so seriously mentally ill. Because of that we heard no one say they are disappointed the plea agreement protects Loughner from the death penalty.