The evidence against Jared Loughner in the mass shooting in Tucson last year is overwhelming, and if he were tried and found guilty, a jury could sentence him to death.
Still, sources close to the case said Saturday that a possible deal is in the works in which Loughner would plead guilty and be sentenced to life in prison. News reports said Loughner, who was diagnosed as schizophrenic, is now competent to stand trial, although a federal judge would have to approve.
The news raised questions about why federal prosecutors would weigh such a deal in a high-profile crime that claimed the lives of six, wounded 13 and outraged the nation. Federal and state prosecutors have sought the death penalty for defendants accused of murdering even one person.
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