Dave Hardy talks about Judge Roll’s viewing and funeral. He also speak about attending the ABC Town Hall, and some mistakes the legal community think is being made with the killer’s prosecution:
Local legal conversation is that running with the Federal charges first is a mistake, and probably an FBI publicity grab. (1) The insanity defense is the likely defense, and while the Feds have a modified M’Naughton “not guilty by reason of insanity” defense, Arizona has “guilty but insane,” which means the defendant goes to a mental institution, and when release from that goes to prison to finish his sentence. (2) Arizona has a “natural life” sentence, meaning a real life sentence, he leaves the prison when he dies. I don’t know if the Feds so. (3) Proving murder one in Arizona involves proving just that. The Federal crime is murder of a government official, which requires proof in addition that the victim was on official duty. Gabby Giffords was clearly on duty, but it’d only be attempted murder. Judge Roll would be murder, but it may be hard to prove he was on official duty if he hadn’t already started speaking to the Representative within hearing of witnesses, and had brought up court business. Odds are that he was indeed there to speak about the needs of the court, or to thank her for past concern shown, but proving that beyond a reasonable doubt may be a problem.
So the Federal charges may be harder to prove than the State ones would be, the Federal insanity defense is much more effective, and the State sentencing options are better. It’d be better to go with the State charges first, or to go with them exclusively.
These are the people we’re supposed to count on to protect us? The goal should be making sure the killer never walks the streets again. Otherwise this guy is going to be like Hinkley, and end up back out on the streets. The feds are doing everything to make sure that happens, it seems. They should leave this to the State of Arizona, so we can get this guy off the streets for good, and get some justice for the families. This guy was with it enough to plan. He’s with it enough to pay a debt to society for what he did.
Fortunately, I believe the State of Arizona can still pursue state charges after the feds are done with him. Double jeopardy only applies to each sovereign separately. You can still be tried by both the state and federal governments for the same crime.