Feds study death penalty for Loughner

Jan. 30, 2011 at 6:21 PM

TUCSON, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- The U.S. attorney in Arizona says he is readying a memo outlining the case for the death penalty for accused shooting-spree killer Jared Loughner.

The Los Angeles Times said Sunday the memorandum indicates U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke will likely request execution for Loughner if he is convicted of killing federal judge John Roll and seriously wounding Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., at a Tucson rally in early January. A total of six people died and 13 were wounded in the massacre a meet-and-greet event Giffords had scheduled outside a supermarket.

Burke told the Times the report will include a narrative of the attack, personal background on Loughner, a 22-year-old college dropout, and the victims' and families' views on capital punishment.

The newspaper said federal death sentences are rare, and actual execution are even rarer. The last federal execution took place in 2003 and none of the 60 prisoners now on federal death row are close to having their sentences carried out.

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