Judge rules prison can forcibly medicate Loughner

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 29, 2011 7:19 PM
Judge rules prison can forcibly medicate Loughner

SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - A federal judge on Wednesday refused to order prison officials to stop forcibly medicating Arizona shooting suspect Jared Loughner with anti-psychotic drugs.

U.S. District Judge Larry Burns rejected a request by defense attorneys for Loughner, 22, to halt the procedure at a federal prisoners' hospital in Missouri.

Last month Loughner was declared mentally incompetent to stand trial on charges he killed six people and wounded 13 others, including Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, during a January 8 shooting in Tucson, Arizona.

His defense team filed an emergency petition arguing the U.S. Bureau of Prisons had decided, without the permission of the court, to "involuntarily and forcibly medicate him on the grounds that he is a danger to others."

In response, prosecutors said that after Loughner had declined to take medication, the Bureau of Prisons determined at an administrative hearing that he should be involuntarily medicated.

(Reporting by Marty Graham; Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Jerry Norton)