Gabrielle Giffords to Confront Attacker at Sentencing Hearing

This Jan. 23, 2012 file, photo shows then-Rep Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., touring the Gabrielle Giffords Family Assistance Center, one of her favorite charities, with staff member Ron Barber in Tucson, Ariz. Republicans are focusing on President Barack Obama, not Giffords, and sensing a chance to capture the former congresswoman's seat in southern Arizona. Voters are deciding in the Tuesday, June 12, 2012, special election whether Republican Jesse Kelly, who narrowly lost to Giffords in 2010, or Democrat Ron Barber, a former Giffords aide asked by the lawmaker to pursue the seat, will complete the remainder of her term. (National Journal)

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., will confront the man who shot her nearly two years ago at his sentencing hearing on Thursday, Politico reports.

Jared Lee Loughner, 24, pleaded guilty to killing six people and shooting 13 others in Tucson, Ariz., in January of 2011 during a Giffords political event. Giffords has gone through intensive rehabilitation therapy following a bullet wound to the head.

On Thursday, Loughner will find out his sentence and face some of the victims of his rampage for the first time since the massacre. The victims will have an opportunity to speak at the hearing.

After the shooting, Loughner was diagnosed with schizophrenia. But following treatment, a judge found him able to stand trial. Loughner pleaded guilty three months ago to 19 federal changes in a plea deal, and he is guaranteed to serve the rest of his life in prison without parole.

Rep. Ron Barber, a former Giffords staffer who was shot through the cheek and thigh at the event, now holds Giffords' seat and plans on speaking at the hearing on Thursday.

Giffords will be joined at the trial by her husband, Mark Kelly.

In September, Giffords read the Pledge of Allegiance to an emotional response at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. She stepped down from her seat in January of this year to concentrate on her recovery.