The sentence came after an emotional sentencing hearing at which his victims, including U.S. Rep Gabrielle Giffords, were able to confront the killer for the first time.
In August, Loughner pleaded guilty to 19 federal charges under a plea agreement that dismissed 30 other charges against him. The prosecution and defense agreed to the deal that guaranteed that he would spend the remainder of his life behind bars.
'Done Thinking About You'
Loughner spoke only once during the hearing, saying "That's true," when asked if he had waived his right to make a statement. Otherwise he sat still and silent by his attorney's side as a line of victims and family members made victim impact statements.
Rep. Giffords did not speak during the hearing, but stood holding the hand of her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, who spoke on her behalf.
Kelly spoke directly to Loughner, "You may have put a bullet through her head, but you haven't put a dent in her spirit and commitment. You have decades upon decades to contemplate what you did. But after today. After this moment. Here and now. Gabby and I are done thinking about you."
Loughner has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and will continue to need medication. He may serve his time at a federal medical facility, such as the Springfield, Missouri prison where he was treated prior to being declared competent.
Photo: Mug Shot