Loughner Appeals Forced Meds

Drugs will attempt to make him competent to stand trial
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 2, 2011 7:46 AM CDT
This photo released Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011 shows Tucson shooting rampage suspect Jared Loughner.   ((AP Photo/U.S. Marshal's Office, File))
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(Newser) – Attorneys for Jared Lee Loughner yesterday appealed a federal judge's ruling that he can be forced to continue taking anti-psychotic drugs. Loughner's attorneys appealed to the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco in a one-paragraph filing. They say Loughner, accused in the Tucson shooting rampage that injured Gabrielle Giffords, has been forcibly medicated since June 21.

Prosecutors have said in court papers that Loughner spit on his own attorney, lunged at her, and had to be restrained by prison staff on April 4. They mentioned an outburst during a March 28 interview with a mental health expert in which Loughner became enraged, cursed at her, and threw a plastic chair at her twice. The judge in the case rejected defense claims that the prison forced the medications in an effort to make Loughner competent to stand trial. He said the key question was whether Loughner posed a danger and that prison doctors, not him, were best qualified to answer that.

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