In the early hours of the case, many liberals and Democrats said that the killing was because the political rhetoric was too heated, and called for toning it down. Especially Sarah Palin, who had cross hairs on her website targeting the primary victim, Gabrielle Giffords. And because Gabrielle had mentioned these cross hairs long before the shooting, saying that "there would be consequences". And the whole issue was already an open sore because of various liberals, Democrats and lefty types who had already been shot and killed in the last few years.
Again in the early going, the conservatives fought back hard, claiming that Jared Loughner was in fact a left wing liberal, and that rhetoric on the liberal side was just as violent as that on the right.
Now we have had three weeks to settle down. In that time, the rhetoric about shooting liberals has been toned down, and we know a little bit more about the case.
He may plead insanity, and if so, certain things need to be proven.
Detectives have been able to determine that Jared intended to perform a political assassination, and that he was aware that the death penalty was associated with this act. That's because he looked up these search terms on his computer before committing the murders. This makes him appear sane (legally).
On the other hand,
"if delusional disorder caused Loughner to believe that when he attempted to assassinate Rep. Giffords and shoot the others, he was acting on orders from God, or that the shootings were necessary to save the universe, mankind, or himself for that matter, the insanity defense remains viable. "
Would an insanity plea be possible if "the the shootings were necessary to save the universe, mankind, or America"? If so, then the constant refrain on Fox News that the Democrats only purpose is to destroy America, could have some bearing on the case. It may make the difference between a death penalty and an insanity defence.
It raises the possibility in my mind that Jared Loughner can shoot people and plead insanity because he listened to the most popular news channel in the country.