Just as there was a rush to think that Jared Loughner’s mind-set might have been connected to wildly acrimonious radio and TV personalities, so there was a counter rush from those who admire such vim and vigor on the air, to claim that any fool could see that Loughner was a mentally ill man who didn’t know the difference between right and wrong, guns and sticks, political rallies and deer hunts. It looks like in their rush to declare him insane they forgot to wait for some evidence.
Jared L. Loughner, the man accused of opening fire outside a Tucson supermarket on Jan. 8 in what the authorities consider an attempted assassination of Representative Gabrielle Giffords, researched famous assassins, the death penalty and solitary confinement on the Internet before the shootings, an official close to the investigation said Wednesday.
…“He was looking at Web sites related to lethal injection and Web sites about famous assassins,” the official said, adding, “These are things he was looking into in the days leading up to — including the evening and morning hours — up to the event.”
The information on his computer searches, which The Washington Post first reported on its Web site on Wednesday morning, could aid the prosecution’s effort to show that Mr. Loughner carefully planned the shooting and knew the implications of it, legal analysts said.
“It sounds like it’s very significant,” said A. Bates Butler III, a former United States attorney in Arizona who is now in private practice. “It demonstrates premeditation. If he was looking at what happened to other assassins, it shows that he intended to kill. I suspect the government will use that evidence to show this was a thinking person and not someone acting on impulse or as a result of a mental disorder.”
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