Tucson Shooter's Forced Medication Halted - Criminal Law - U.S. Ninth Circuit
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Tucson Shooter's Forced Medication Halted

Tucson shooter Jared Lee Loughner can stay unmedicated in Arizona for now.

Last week, U.S. District Judge Larry Burns ordered Loughner back to a Missouri facility for treatment to restore his mental competency. Burns also ruled that doctors at the facility could forcibly mediate Loughner with anti-psychotic drugs, Los Angeles Times reports. On Tuesday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals stayed that order.

The staff at the Missouri prison facility where Loughner was being treated decided in September to continue with Loughner's forced medication treatment after finding that Loughner posed a threat to himself, reports the AP.

Judge Burns has ruled three times that the Missouri facility could forcibly medicate Loughner, who suffers from schizophrenia. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which heard oral arguments in August on the forced medication issue, has yet to issue an opinion in the matter, reports Reuters.

This week, Loughner's attorneys argued that Judge Burns failed to consider the likely impact of the restoration commitment on Loughner's capacity to go forward to trial. The defense also argued that the district court's order for an additional four-month commitment was untethered to a determination that Loughner would be restored to competency during that time.

In its order on Tuesday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the court reporter to produce transcripts of the September 28 district court oral arguments upon which Judge Burns based his decision to allow forced medication. The transcripts must be delivered by October 7. The Ninth Circuit will hear oral arguments by telephone the day following production.

For further updates on the Jared Lee Loughner forced medication proceedings, keep reading FindLaw's Ninth Circuit blog.

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