- (Photo: ABC News via The Christian Post)
Jared Loughner has been sentenced to life behind bars, and Mark Kelly has spoken his final piece on behalf of himself, his wife Gabby Giffords, and the rest of the victims. Loughner will now begin serving seven consecutive life sentences.
"You tried to create a world as dark and evil as your own. Remember this: you failed," Mark Kelly said during his time in the Arizona courtroom. Giffords stood beside her husband as he addressed Loughner personally, as well as the rest of the court.
"Gabby would trade her own life for one you took on that day. Every day is a continuous struggle to do the things she was once so very good at. By making death and producing tragedy, you sought to diminish the beauty of life. Mr. Loughner, you may have put a bullet through her head, but you haven't put a dent in her spirit and her commitment to make the world a better place," Kelly said, according to media reports.
"You have decades upon decades to contemplate what you did. But after today, after this moment, here and now, Gabby and I are done thinking about you," Kelly concluded before kissing his wife and taking his seat.
Loughner remained silent throughout the testimony of other families affected by his actions in January 2011. After a lengthy debate, Loughner was diagnosed with schizophrenia and decided to plead guilty to the six charges of murder.
"We don't speak for all of the victims or their families, but Gabby and I are satisfied with this plea arrangement," a public statement by Giffords and Kelly said earlier this year.
"The pain and loss caused by the events of January 8, 2011 are incalculable. Avoiding a trial will allow us- and we hope the whole Southern Arizona community- to continue with our recovery and more forward with our lives," Kelly added.
Kelly is expected to make a statement on behalf of the family during today's hearing. This marks a new step in recovery for Giffords, who fought her way back from a close-range shot to the head. She surprised everyone by initially surviving the attack and then going on to thrive.