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The sheriff’s handling of the case itself may soon come under more scrutiny. The Pima County Sheriff’s Department first declined a request by the Arizona Republic to release any police reports about Mr. Loughner that were made in the months preceding the shooting, but the office reportedly relented and released some on Wednesday.

As the key law enforcement officer, Sheriff Dupnik may have compromised the prosecution. His statements have been “intemperate and really not within the realm of criminal justice or in the scope of his duty as sheriff and may be contributing to the insanity defense of the defendant, Mr. Loughner,” Fox News contributing legal analyst Peter J. Johnson Jr. said Wednesday.

He noted that Sheriff Dupnik called Mr. Loughner “irrational” and “unstable” and said that Sheriff Dupnik indicated that the shootings had been “provoked or precipitated or assisted by the political climate in the United States and the statements of some officials in the Republican Party and in the media.”

Ah, yes. The usual suspects: Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh. And don’t forget those millions of Tea Party members.

Recall Sheriff Dupnik.

Robert Knight is a senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union. For more information on recall, go to