I believe there is a possibility that Jared Loughner’s case might be resolved by a plea. Here’s why.
Every capital defense team should have at least one regular investigator to work the case and at least one mitigation investigator to gather mitigation evidence.
Mitigation evidence is any evidence that in fairness or in mercy tends to mitigate or reduce the seriousness of the offense charged. Evidence of mental illness is mitigation evidence, for example.
I’m certain that Jared’s defense team will include a mitigation team made up of an attorney and the mitigation investigator(s) whose primary responsibility will be to prepare for a possible penalty phase. In addition to establishing the absolutely critical relationship of trust with Jared, which the defense team likely is still focused on, the mitigation investigator will be collecting all of Jared’s academic, mental health, and medical records, including his mother’s pregnancy and his birth records. The mitigation investigator also will attempt to locate and interview all of Jared’s teachers dating back to kindergarten, or day care, babysitters, family members, friends, and employers searching for any evidence that might be helpful in determining why and when he went off the rails.
The mitigation investigator’s goal is to find every record and anecdotal story about him in existence, assemble, catalogue, cross-reference, and exhaustively analyze them for any sign of impaired mental functioning or disability ranging from fetal alcohol syndrome to signs of a possible brain injury sustained as a child, or young adult. From the little evidence reported in the news, Jared appears to have been manifesting delusional and confused thinking involving suspected enemies, which is a symptom of paranoid schizophrenia, a disease that no one chooses to have. If I were a member of the defense team, I would certainly want to determine whether Jared is afflicted by paranoid schizophrenia, and if so, whether and to what extent it may have affected his perception and processing of information and events in his environment and what role, if any that might have played in the decisions he made leading up to the events that occurred on or about January 8, 2011. . . . Read the rest of this entry →