Lawyers denied request to be alerted before Loughner is medicated
Fri, 03 Jun 2011 20:32:47 GMT —
Update: June 29 at 2:05 p.m.: A judge is set to hear arguments over a request by lawyers for the Tucson shooting rampage suspect to prevent prison officials from forcibly giving him anti-psychotic drugs.U.S. District Judge Larry Burns called the hearing after Jared Lee Loughner's attorneys filed an emergency request to prevent any forced medication of their client.Loughner has been at a federal prison facility in Missouri since May 28 after the judge concluded Loughner was mentally unfit to stand trial.A prison administrative hearing about his medication was held on June 14 and found that Loughner was a danger to himself.Loughner has pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from the Jan. 8 shooting that killed six people and injured 13 others, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
Original Story: Doctors do not have to notify Jared Loughner's attorneys before giving him anti-psychotic drugs.A federal judge Thursday denied a request from lawyers for the suspect in the Tucson shooting rampage that they be given notice before their client is medicated. Defense attorney Judy Clarke filed a motion late last week asking to be notified if officials at a federal prison facility in Springfield, Mo., plan to give Jared Lee Loughner, 22, the medication. "Absent emergency or other exigent circumstances, counsel for Mr. Loughner request as a matter of due process and effective representation of counsel that the Attorney General or its representatives at FMC Springfield provide reasonable advance notice to counsel of any intent to administer psychotropic medication to Mr. Loughner," Clark wrote in a one sentence motion. Judge Larry Burns denied it, saying he's confident the facility's staff knows Loughner may not be forcibly medicated without Burns' authorization."The court is confident that the trained medical staff at the Federal Medical Facility are aware the defendant may not be forcibly medicated absent a suitability determination and authorization from this court," Burns wrote in his decision. (Emphasis in original.) Burns ruled in May that Loughner is mentally unfit to assist his lawyers or understand the charges he faces. He was sent Friday, May 27th, to the Springfield facility for treatment, he will spend up to four months at the facility. Mental health experts who examined Loughner at the same Missouri facility in March and April had concluded he suffers from schizophrenia. Loughner has pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from the Jan. 8 Tucson mass shooting that killed six and injured 13, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.What do you think, should Loughner's attorneys be alerted before he is medicated? (The Associated Press contributed to this story)