Judge Rules in Favor of Medicating Jared Loughner
They did the best they could to get the drugs away from Loughner, but ultimately the drugs prevailed.
Attorneys for Jared Loughner, accused of killing Rep. Gabriel Giffords as well as five others (and injuring thirteen beyond those), tried to prevent the administration of psychiatric drugs on behalf of their client, in the belief that it was just a backdoor ploy to make Loughner competent for standing trial.
The defense wanted to get Lougher off his medication, even though he threw a chair twice during an interview with a mental-health professional back in March, then spat on and lunged at his own lawyer a week later. His attorneys say prison doctors should be using alternatives like restraints and mouthguards and should be conducting their interviews without chairs. “He really is not posing any risk to others,” Loughner attorney Reuben Cahn told the Associated Press yesterday.
Prosecutors beg to differ and so does U.S. District Judge Larry Burns. He ruled in favor of medication, saying “I have no reason to argue with the doctors here. They labor in this vineyard every day.”
Loughner has been at the federal prison in Springfield, Mo., for a month now; he’ll be there at least three more as officials try to determine if he’s fit to stand his own trial. (He recently missed the San Diego hearing at which his attorneys pleaded not-guilty to all 49 charges brought against him for the Jan. 8 shooting.)
Loughner’s attorneys so far haven’t said publicly, one way or the other, whether they’ll go for an insanity plea once the trial finally begins. And no one even knows if Loughner will be leaving the facility at the end of these four months, in late September, whereupon a decision on Loughner’s competence may not even have been reached.
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