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Jared Lee Loughner Pleads Not Guilty At Arraignment in Phoenix Today

Jared Lee Loughner was arraigned today at the Federal Courthouse in Phoenix, AZ for one count of attempted assassination in the shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords, and two counts of attempted murder for shooting two of her staffers, Ron Barber and Pam Simon.

Loughner could be brought up on as many as six murder charges before all is said and done. He has two options: plead guilty on all of the charges brought against him, which would speed the trail along, or plead not guilty.

Loughner and his attorney — famed defense attorney Judy Clarke who represented the Unabomber — was expected to enter an insanity plea. If proven insane, Loughner may serve his sentence in a mental institution, but would be spared the death penalty.

The arraignment was over shortly after the judge had entered the room. Loughner pled not guilty; his defense team will likely argue mental instability, although this was not stated during the arraignment, nor is it required.

The prosecution said it will bring the remaining charges in 45 days or less.

Overall the proceedings were routine since defense attorney Clarke did not ask to postpone the arraignment in order to initiate mental competency hearings that would ultimately contribute to an insanity plea.

Sandhya Somashekhar tweeted the proceedings live from the courthouse in Phoenix, tweeting that Jared Lee Loughner stood calm in his prison-issued jumpsuit and smiled during the proceedings. He appeared to be unmoved by any of the charges brought against him today, and perhaps even by the consequences of his horrific actions.

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Ryan Cook

Ryan Cook

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