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Jared Loughner's mental incompetency has delayed his trial for the Tucson shootings that claimed the lives of 6 people, and injured another 13.
Now the 9th Circuit has ruled that Jared Loughner's can reject medication, forcibly administered in the federal facility he is being held at. Any forced medication must be delayed further until a hearing in August.
The 9th Circuit had previously ruled that the forced medication must be temporarily halted.
Loughner's defense and the prosecution presented their arguments to a panel of judges on July 7. The panel ruled that the medication must be stopped until a full hearing, set sometime at the end of August.
Loughner had been forcibly medicated at the facility in Springfield, Missouri, reports The Arizona Republic.
There are two methods to forcible medication. If Loughner was being medicated in an effort to restore him to competency, then a full hearing should have been held. If Loughner was being medicated because he was a danger to others, then an administrative hearing would have sufficed, reports The Arizona Republic.
Loughner had undergone an administrative hearing at the Bureau of Prisons, which had then imposed the forced medication. The Bureau of Prisons asserted that they had forcibly medicated him because he was a danger to others. Loughner's attorneys disagree.
For now, all indications seem to point that Loughner's trial over the Tucson, Arizona shootings will have to wait. Loughner cannot stand trial until he is deemed mentally competent. And, without taking medication, will Loughner be deemed mentally competent anytime soon?
Jared Loughner's mental incompetency may have delayed the trial, and now that Jared Loughner can reject the medication, the trial may be delayed even further. But, a prisoner's due process rights must be protected under the law.