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Loughner Lawyers Appeal Forced Medication

SAN DIEGO, July 29 (UPI) — Lawyers for Jared Loughner, accused in a Jan. 8, 2011, Tucson shooting spree, have appealed a judge’s order that allows him to be medicated without his consent.

In court papers, lawyer Judy Clarke argued Thursday that Loughner’s constitutional rights are being violated by forced treatment, the Los Angeles Times reported. U.S. District Judge Larry A. Burns said last month doctors at the federal prison hospital in Springfield, Mo., could force Loughner to take psychotropic medication but was reversed on July 12 by an appeals panel.

Doctors have continued to give Loughner medication, saying he could otherwise harm himself or others. Clarke, in her appeal, argued they could use less intrusive methods, giving him tranquilizers instead of “brain-altering chemicals.”

Loughner was found incompetent to stand trial for the Tucson shootings, which left six people dead and 13 injured. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., who was holding a constituent event, appears to have been the target and is still recovering from a gunshot wound in the head.

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