Experts tell the Washington Post the odds are good that Jared Loughner, 22, ruled incompetent to stand trial, will recover though antipsychotic drugs and ultimately face charges in the Jan. 8 shooting spree that killed six and wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and 12 others. Significant pitfalls could prevent a speedy trial.
Each year, an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 defendants have their trials delayed after being found mentally incompetent. About 75 percent are successfully rehabilitated within six months. Those who do not recover quickly often remain in a lengthy state of limbo, Lucas John Helder, 30, accused of planting bombs in 18 Midwest mailboxes in 2002, has been in a federal medical facility since 2004, when a judge found him incompetent. “There is a subset that for various reasons do not respond,” said Kirk Heilbrun, chairman of Drexel University's psychology department,