published Sunday, June 26th, 2011

Defense: Prison will forcibly medicate Loughner

PHOENIX — Lawyers for the Tucson shooting rampage suspect say federal prison officials have decided to forcibly give him anti-psychotic drugs.

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. Loughner has been at a Missouri prison medical facility since Burns declared him mentally incompetent to stand trial in May.

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.

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NoMyth said...

Jack and cbtole, in general, I agree with meting out stringent justice; however, in this case, the defendant clearly meets the legal standard of 'insanity' at the time of the commission of his crimes and will not be convicted because of his lack of understanding of the wrongfulness of his actions. The court is forcefully medicating him in the hopes that he will actually comprehend that he is on trial. Believe it or not, in his mind, he probably truly believed that he was doing a good thing when he committed this crime...like he was saving the planet from the 'bad guys'. These types of crimes (just like the Unabomber and the shooting on Capitol Hill that killed a security guard) will continue until people that develop severe mental illness (a genetic trait/mutation that they are born with) are screened in our schools/universities/workplaces and treated with proper medications and then carefully re-introduced to society with a lot of oversight. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of good medications for these people and most products from drug companies today basically act as sedatives. In any case, under our judicial system and laws, this person cannot be found guilty. I agree with this judgement and it is a distinction that makes the U.S. justice system unique from other places in the world. Keep in mind that very few people meet the definition of 'insane', but this fellow clearly does meet the definition.

June 27, 2011 at 7:36 p.m.
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