Victims to appear at Arizona shooter Jared Loughner’s sentencing

Jared Lee Loughner will be sentenced in an Arizona court Thursday morning after pleading guilty to killing six people and injuring 13 during a shooting in Tuscon last year, and many of his victims, including former congresswoman Gabriel Giffords, will face him.

Loughner has pleaded guilty to the Jan. 8, 2011 shooting at a Giffords campaign event and his lawyers have arranged a bargain that will let him spend the rest of his life in prison, with much of it expected to be served in a psychiatric ward, reports The Arizona Republic. Loughner was diagnosed with schizophrenia after the shooting and was initially found unfit to stand trial.

Giffords, who was shot in the head and continues to recover from a brain injury, will be in court with her husband, former Space Shuttle commander Mark Kelly, who is expected to speak on her behalf. Other victims, as well as Loughner and his friends and family, will also have a chance to address the court.

Giffords’ former congressional aide Ronald S. Barber, who was also injured in the shooting and later took over Giffords’ seat when she resigned, is also expected to appear in court, reports CNN.