by Dan Gibson
Believing that Jared Loughner would not be forcibly medicated without the permission of the court, Judge Larry Burns rejected the defense's motion to be notified in advance of plans to administer psychotropic drugs to their client:
U.S. District Judge Larry Burns said he was confident that doctors at the Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Mo. — where Loughner is being held while undergoing treatment — would adhere to federal law, which only allows them to administer drugs to Loughner if he voluntarily decides to take them.
If Loughner, who was deemed unfit to stand trial last week, refuses to take the anti-psychotic medication, then prosecutors may seek to gain a request by doctors for the court’s approval to forcibly administer the drugs. In that case, Burns said, Loughner’s lawyers would be notified.
“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 an order denying the request.
Burns said that if Loughner's lawyers wanted to be notified before he was administered any drugs which he voluntarily agreed to take, they must resubmit a more detailed request outlining their stipulations.