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Insanity defense difficult for shooting suspect

In an earlier time, the emerging portrait of a deeply troubled young man might have given Jared Loughner's lawyers the basis of an insanity defense. But John Hinckley's successful insanity claim after shooting President Ronald Reagan led Congress to raise the bar, making the task harder.

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Was Saturday’s rampage really unimaginable?

We don't yet know what role, if any, the actions of the Legislature played in what happened on Saturday. But if ever there was a time to re-examine the cliff we are headed toward, this tragedy certainly provides it. (Laurie Roberts/The Arizona Republic)

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Let’s step back, as Giffords asked

In an interview last March, Giffords anticipated almost everything being said now and explained why what happened on Saturday is a violation of our national self-image as "a beacon." Our pride, she said, is that "we effect change at the ballot box" and not through "outbursts of violence." (E.J Dionne Jr./The Washington Post)

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