Last January the world watched the news in shock about a man opening fire in a Safeway parking lot in Arizona, killing 6 people and injuring 13 including then Congresswoman Gabrielle Griffiths.  Today some justice begins to be served.

Word has come out that Jared Lee Loughner (pictured) has been declared "competent to understand the gravity of the charges against him", and has pleaded guilty to the crimes committed on January 8, 2011.

NBC News reports that U.S. District Court Judge Larry A. Burns said that Loughner today is "a different person in his appearance and affect than the first time I saw him".  Loughner said he understood the charges, was of a clear mind (thanks in part to treatment for his schizophrenia, which now has Loughner in torment over what he has done), and understands that he cannot change his plea to not guilty by reason for insanity.

The guilty plea means that Loughner will not face the death penalty, but will be sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole - this saves the state the expense of a trial and spares the victims a potential lengthy and painful process.