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June 27, 2011

Tucson shooter Jared Loughner to be forcibly medicated in prison

As detailed in this CBS News piece, the appointed attorneys "for the Tucson shooting rampage suspect say federal prison officials have decided to forcibly give him anti-psychotic drugs." Here is more:

Attorneys for Jared Loughner filed an emergency motion on Friday asking U.S. District Judge Larry Burns to stop them from doing so.  Burns has twice denied their requests to be given notice before their client is drugged.

Defense attorney Judy Clarke wrote that a prison administrative hearing on June 14 found Loughner was a danger to himself.  She doesn't know if they have started giving him drugs.  Loughner has pleaded not guilty to 49 charges stemming from the Jan. 8 shooting that killed six and injured 13, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Mental health experts who examined Loughner concluded he suffers from schizophrenia; he has been at a federal prison facility in Springfield, Mo., since May 28, where experts will try to make him psychologically fit to stand trial.  He will spend up to four months there. If Loughner is later determined to be competent enough to understand the case against him and assist his lawyers, the court proceedings will resume.  His stay at the facility could also be extended.

USA Today reported earlier this month that it's likely Loughner will eventually be cleared to stand trial. "It's a fairly routine part of criminal justice," Richard Bonnie, director of the Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy at the University of Virginia, told the newspaper.  Bonnie said about 85 percent of patients initially ruled mentally unfit are eventually cleared to stand trial or otherwise face charges against them.

June 27, 2011 at 08:45 AM | Permalink


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What happened to his right to refuse, he can't be killed by reason of mental illness or defect, so what does forcing him to take medication do? We give the man life and move on; we must quit acting vengeful. This is a violation of his human rights. When the rights of the person collide with the rights of society and the goverment; society always wins, or so they think. However, it should be the other way around. Who is to say that this is right or wrong? Humanity is always trying to make its citizens fit into a pre-defined shell. While I do not agree with what he did, does society have the right to force medication upon this man? The answer is no. When, as humanity, are we going to learn that by forcing someone to do something; we employ the same methods used by that person in the commission of their crime and therefore we are as guilty as they, themselves are. I am not abducating chaos. Punishment certainly applies, but we must check our methods to get there.

Posted by: DLC | Jun 27, 2011 2:19:19 PM

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