Some documents in Ariz. shooting to remain sealed
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) – A federal judge has unsealed about 60 documents in the 2011 Tucson shooting rampage that wounded former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, but some 20 other records will remain under wraps because of privacy issues.
Most of the documents that U.S. District Judge Larry Burns ruled must remain sealed contain confidential reports from the Bureau of Prisons about Jared Lee Loughner, who was charged in the case.
Burns’ seven-page ruling released Friday said some of the documents “were not made publicly available because they contained Mr. Loughner’s confidential medical information along with internal BOP records and correspondences.
“These documents may remain sealed to protect Mr. Loughner’s medical privacy,” Burns wrote.
Others documents staying sealed include prison records pertaining to Loughner’s mental evaluation, notes from his prison psychologist, correspondences between lawyers, defense attorney strategy in the case and information about Loughner’s parents.
Loughner, 24, was sentenced in November to seven consecutive life sentences, plus 140 years, after he pleaded guilty to 19 federal charges in the Tucson shooting that left six people dead and 13 others wounded, including Giffords.
The rampage occurred at a Giffords’ meet-and-greet with her constituents outside a Tucson supermarket on Jan. 8, 2011.
Giffords was shot once in the head. The Arizona Democrat resigned from Congress last year as she continues to recover from her injuries.
Loughner’s guilty plea enabled him to avoid the death penalty. He’s serving his sentence at a federal prison medical facility in Springfield, Mo., where he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and forcibly given psychotropic drug treatments to make him fit for trial.
Attorneys for three media outlets asked Burns in April to unseal any remaining documents, saying Loughner’s fair-trial rights were no longer on the line now that his criminal case has been resolved.
About 2,700 pages of investigative papers were released in March, and some 600 photos and images taken by investigators in the aftermath of the shooting were released in May.
Among the documents Burns ordered unsealed Friday were some search warrants detailing what authorities found at Loughner’s Tucson home after the shooting, but they contained little new information.
Several of the previously sealed documents in the case docket related to billing by Loughner’s two appointed attorneys, Judy Clarke and Mark Fleming.
Burns wrote that they were paid on a monthly basis at an hourly rate of $178 and “the lump sum that Ms. Clarke and Mr. Fleming received for their work” in the case was nearly $1.1 million.
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