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Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The gunman who opened fire and killed five people in the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland, in June 2018 was found criminally responsible on Thursday, with a jury rejecting defense attorneys’ mental illness arguments.

Why it matters: Jarrod Ramos could be sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison after a jury determined in less than 90 minutes that he was sane at the time of the shooting. It's deemed "one of the deadliest attacks on American journalists in the country’s history," the New York Times writes.

Details: 41-year-old Ramos pleaded guilty to 23 charges in 2019.

  • The trial began June 29 when the defense asserted that Ramos was not criminally responsible. Prosecutors argued that because he plotted the shooting, he was mentally competent and able to conform his actions to meet legal standards.
  • Of note: The jury's decision means Ramos will be sentenced to prison, rather than a maximum-security mental health facility.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Selene San Felice — a survivor of the shooting who testified at the trial last week: The verdict and its swift delivery is a huge relief, but the survivors and family of those who died are all still in so much pain.

  • To say this trial reopened a wound is a massive understatement. Don’t just read this news and move on. Do something to prevent the next mass shooting. Show compassion for the people affected by gun violence. Stop letting people like my friends die. And don’t let people like me feel forgotten.

Catch up quick: Ramos shot five people roughly three years ago.

  • In July 2011, a Capital Gazette columnist covered a criminal harassment case filed against Ramos. He then filed a defamation lawsuit in 2012 against Capital Gazette Communications and multiple employees. It was dismissed as groundless.

Editor's note: The story has been updated to reflect that Ramos has not yet been sentenced.

Go deeper

GOP Rep. Gonzalez retires in face of Trump-backed primary

Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R) Photographer: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R) announced his retirement on Thursday, declining to run against a Trump-backed primary challenger in 2022.

Why it matters: Gonzalez has suffered politically since siding with House Democrats to impeach the 45th president after the Capitol riot.

Swing voters oppose Texas abortion law

Protesters at a rally at the Texas State Capitol. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images

All 10 swing voters in Axios’ latest focus groups — including those who described themselves as "pro-life" — said they oppose Texas' new anti-abortion law.

Why it matters: If their responses reflect larger patterns in U.S. society, this could hurt Republicans with women and independents in next year's midterm elections. The swing voters cited overreach, invasion of privacy and concerns about frivolous lawsuits jamming up the courts.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Biden bombs with Manchin

Then-Vice President Joe Biden conducts a ceremonial swearing-in for Sen. Joe Manchin in 2010. Photo: Tom Williams/Roll Call

President Biden failed to persuade Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to agree to spending $3.5 trillion on the Democrats' budget reconciliation package during their Oval Office meeting on Wednesday, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Defying a president from his own party — face-to-face — is the strongest indication yet Manchin is serious about cutting specific programs and limiting the price tag of any potential bill to $1.5 trillion. His insistence could blow up the deal for progressives and others.