Sep 28, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Capital Gazette gunman sentenced to over 5 life sentences

Picture of the building where Capital Gazette offices were located in Maryland

Police tape blocks access to the building complex where the Capital Gazette is on June 29, 2018, in Annapolis, Maryland. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

A judge on Tuesday sentenced the gunman who murdered five employees at the Capital Gazette newspaper in 2018 to more than five life sentences without the possibility of parole.

Driving the news: Anne Arundel County Judge Michael Wachs ordered the sentence for Jarrod Ramos. The judge said that Ramos showed no regrets for the shooting — which is considered one of the worst attacks on journalism in U.S. history — and told a state psychiatrist he would continue killing if released, AP reports.

What they're saying: "To say that the defendant exhibited a callous and complete disregard for the sanctity of human life is simply a huge understatement," Wachs said, per AP.

State of play: Ramos' sentencing hearing started Tuesday morning and included statements from survivors of the attack, as well as family members and loved ones of those who died, the Washington Post writes.

  • Ramos did not address the court.

Catch up quick: In July, a jury found Ramos to be criminally responsible for killing Wendi Winters, John McNamara, Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen and Rebecca Smith with a gun at the Capital Gazette’s office in Annapolis, Maryland, in 2018.

  • Prosecutors said that Ramos acted out of revenge in attacking the Gazette after it published a story about his guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge in 2011, AP notes.
  • They argued that since he had detailed plans for his attack, it proves that Ramos was aware of the criminality of his actions.
  • The jury rejected the defense's argument that Ramos could not understand the criminality of his actions.

Context: Ramos in 2019 pleaded guilty but not criminally responsible using Maryland's version of an insanity defense, per AP.

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