Court to hear appeal over medicating Loughner

Court Watch Posted on

An appeals court will hear arguments Tuesday over a request to permanently ban prison officials from forcibly medicating the Tucson shooting rampage suspect with psychotropic drugs.

At issue in Jared Loughner's appeal before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal is whether prison officials or a judge should decide whether a mentally ill person who poses a danger in prison should be forcibly medicated.

Prosecutors say the decision is for prison officials to make, while Loughner's lawyers say it's up to a judge.

Loughner pleaded not guilty to 49 charges in the Jan. 8 shooting that killed six people and wounded 13 others, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

He has been at a Missouri prison facility since late May in a bid to make him mentally fit to stand trial.

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