Loughner lawyer represented extremist anti-Jewish gunman

Jared Loughner

Jared Loughner

The lawyer for the man in court over the shooting of a Jewish Congresswoman and killing of six others in Arizona previously defended a white supremacist who attacked a California Jewish centre in 1999.

Jared Loughner, 22, appeared in court yesterday for the attack on Gabrielle Giffords as she spoke at a political event in Tucson.

He was represented by Judy Clarke, a lawyer known for defending notorious clients including the "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski, and for securing life sentences rather than the death penalty for several high-profile clients.

Ms Clarke, 58, was part of the legal team for white supremacist Buford Furrow Jr, who went on a shooting spree at the Los Angeles centre in 1999. There were 250 children playing in the centre when he opened fire.

Furrow, associated with the extremist Aryan Nations group, left five people seriously injured including a five-year-old boy, and then went on to murder a Filipino-born postman outside the building,

On the advice of his legal team he entered a guilty plea bargain and was given a life sentence rather than the death penalty. Furrow had told the authorities he had chosen his target because he hated Jews.

Yesterday a judge told Mr Loughner that he could face a death sentence for Saturday’s rampage.

Quin Denvir, who worked with Ms Clarke on the Unabomber case, said: "Some of these cases are not about, 'Is the defendant guilty?’ [but] what the sentence is going to be.

“That could be true in this case."

    Last updated: 2:58pm, January 11 2011