July 13, 2011

Jared Loughner has a "strong personal interest in not being forced to suffer the indignity and risk of bodily injury that results from the administration of powerful drugs."

Says the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel, extending the ban on forcing psychotropic drugs on the man accused of the Tucson massacre.
Mr. Loughner's attorneys contend that the danger-to-others argument is a ploy to avoid a more stringent Supreme Court requirement that applies when the government wants to forcibly medicate a defendant to restore him to mental competency to stand trial. In May, Mr. Loughner was declared not competent by federal district Judge Larry Burns, who is presiding over the Loughner case. Administering drugs to return a defendant to competence requires a court hearing....

[The court noted] that prison officials have been able to keep Mr. Loughner in custody for over six months since the shootings "without injury to anyone."

37 comments:

Scott M said...

[The court noted] that prison officials have been able to keep Mr. Loughner in custody for over six months since the shootings "without injury to anyone.

Without extraordinary measures, though, how is a courtroom a jail cell?

chickenlittle said...

Of course Loughner wishes no bodily "harm" upon himself. He's a selfish little prick gaming the system, aided and abetted by competent attorneys only interested in advancing their own careers in criminal law. Who's paying for those attorneys by the way?

Triangle Man said...

The average number of others to whom he has been a danger in the past is greater than zero.

The Crack Emcee said...

Gabrielle Giffirds has a "strong personal interest in not being forced to suffer the indignity and risk of bodily injury that results from the administration of lead powerfully forced into her skull."

What is wrong with these people? He's a fucking NewAger. Either fix him or kill him, but don't tell me how he feels:

He made that very clear months ago,...

traditionalguy said...

There is this great drug called sodium thiopental that The State of Arizona has saved up for Loughner.

Now that is a drug that Loughner has a strong personal interest in not being forced to have administered to him.

So Loughner should not have felt himself free to forcibly administer hot lead to 6 innocent people.

Robert said...

Doesn't matter. He's also subject to murder charges in Arizona state courts. And Arizona has the "guilty but mentally ill" standard. He's going to be locked up for life.

Question is, shouldn't the federal government move from "not guilty by reason of insanity" to " guilty but mentally ill?"

ndspinelli said...

The Bureau of Prisons need Nurse Ratched.

ndspinelli said...

Prisons can't function w/o powerful drugs. I worked a stint @ Leavenworth as a hack back in the 70's. One of my first days on the job I saw an inmate just walking slowly almost trance like. A veteran officer came up to me and said, "That's the thorazine shuffle." I saw a lot of shufflers.

Shanna said...

Either fix him or kill him, but don't tell me how he feels.

Exactly. Once your crazy starts killing people you lose the right to be all "I don't like drugs".

Pogo said...

The Thorazine Shuffle by Bongos, Bass & Bob, about 1992.


Penn Jillette (Penn & Teller) is playing bass.

virgil xenophon said...

If AZ has the "guilty but mentally ill" law on the books why not just pass GO and go direct to the psych facility for the rest of his life? Now in states that don't have this standard, I completely understand and agree with the defense bar that opines that it is wrong for the state to forcibly medicate pre-trial if a mentally ill defense is contemplated as otherwise at trial the jury will be viewing a seemingly "normal" defendant "normal" only because they are medicated, rather than the sort of person they were when they committed the crime. The Yates trial in Texas was a perfect example of this, as a fully medicated Yates at trial was a far different creature than the undoubtedly insane Yates who murdered her children by drowning them in the bathtub on command of the voices in her head.

Toby said...

If someone isn't competent to stand trial, how can he be competent enough to make his own medical decisions?

Fred4Pres said...

Loughner may be nuts, but he is not insane. He knew right from wrong and basic outcomes, which is why he is avoiding the drugs now.

timmaguire42 said...

Seems to me that, to the extent possible, he should be tried in the same state of mind as when he committed the crimes. Why all the wrangling over his state of mind at trial? That makes no sense.

ndspinelli said...

Pogo, Great post!! You made my day w/ the Thorazine Shuffle ballad.

BT said...

Several lifetimes ago I worked in a psych ward, this song by Root Boy Slim sums up things perfectly: Dozin & Droolin

gregq said...

"He's going to be locked up for life."

That's not good enough. He needs to be executed. And if his attorneys are going to try to defend him by claiming that he's not competent to stand trial, then the State has every right to make him competent, if that is within its capabilities.

"Incompetent" people don't have the right to decide what happens to themselves. They certainly don't have that "right" when their "incompetence" is the only thing keeping them out of jail / off death row.

madAsHell said...

You can be drugged back to competency??

Damn!!...and to think I was worried about the flashbacks!

w/v: decroch - it happened in Garden Grove

Geoff Matthews said...

So, can we still execute him?

Robert said...

"gregq said...

"He's going to be locked up for life."

That's not good enough. He needs to be executed. "

sorry gregq, I don't see that happening. I am agnostic on the death penalty -- having it as an option did not prevent this crime, though there are times when I thin it is appropriate (including, contra to the Supreme Court, in certain child rape situations.) but to get this guy executed you really have to prove that he's not insane. There's enough evidence that this guy is descending into paranoid schizophrenia (it's not a disease where one day you're fine, the next day you're loony tunes.) Why spend the time, effort and money to execute him rather than accepting a life without parole deal, and putting those resources to prosecuting other crimes.

I do think he had enough sanity left that he knew right from wrong, but if he's going to be locked up for life any way, why spend millions (and it will be millions) on a crap shoot?

Scott M said...

I am agnostic on the death penalty -- having it as an option did not prevent this crime

I've never seen the death penalty as a deterrent to future crime. I see it as society ridding itself of it's most heinous members so that the rest of us don't have to pony up for the rest of their ill-begotten lives.

Pogo said...

It would have been better for society if the clearly increasingly crazy Jared Loughners of the world were forcibly medicated and housed by the state before they actually kill a bunch of people.

But noooooooooo, the State saw to it that lunacy was no reason not to be free to be homeless and violent.

To prevent the horror of institutionalization, jails and streets were turned into the de facto asylums for the mentally ill. The violent among them are ignored until that cause considerable havoc or are deadly.

edutcher said...

And we care about his interest (as opposed to his rights), why?

Once again, the 9th Circus earns it's rep.

Revenant said...

If Loughner is not mentally competent, he can't have a legitimate "strong personal interest" in anything.

In order to be able to have legitimate desires, you have to be rational.

Roger J. said...

This is a lot easier than it seems--put a 45 in his mouth and pull the trigger--feed his carcass to the hogs

end of problem

Mike K said...

One of my first days on the job I saw an inmate just walking slowly almost trance like. A veteran officer came up to me and said, "That's the thorazine shuffle." I saw a lot of shufflers.

Thorazine was the first drug to work on psychotics but it did have significant side effects that resembled Parkinson's Disease. In fact, those side effects led to an understanding of the cause of Parkinson's.

The new drugs have far fewer side effects and are the choice of psychiatrists for the psychotic. They are expensive and there is concern that Obamacare rules may force the use of cheaper, older drugs.

One reason the defense may not want him treated is that he may start looking sane enough to be convicted. It is a disservice to him to withhold the drugs but his parents also abetted his avoidance of treatment before the shooting.

Prisons are full of psychotics who would be far better off in state mental hospitals but the ACLU and movies like "one Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" took away that option.

ken in sc said...

The death penalty was a deterrent to me. I used to have two ex-wives. One of them smoked herself to death. The other went to Mardi Gras and never came back. If she did I might be in prison now.


WV=bitter, no kidding!

Carol_Herman said...

Thorazine is used when a psychotic patient goes wild. And, they have the strength of ten men. And, it takes all the orderlies to hold this person down. While they're thrashing, the needle goes into the exposed ass cheek.

This is NOT done to make the patient docile. And, it just beats keeping them strapped inside a straight jacket all day.

But if the judges so choose?

You think the staff will allow itself to be endangered?

Of course, for any court appearance ... this lunatic can be let loose ... from restraints ... And, the judge will discover how far a psychotic can travel, unmedicated.

Heck, in the best of all worlds, he'll choke-hold one of his attorneys.

Oligonicella said...

"The court noted] that prison officials have been able to keep Mr. Loughner in custody for over six months since the shootings "without injury to anyone."


Then I suggest he remain under those conditions. Better if fried.

ndspinelli said...

Carol Herman, You're incorrect regarding thorazine. The most common use is as long term oral medication and it most certainly does make patients/inmates docile. You can't charge @ a nurse or hack when you're doing "the shuffle."

Betsy said...

I'd be all in favor of an approach of "6 of one, half-dozen of the other" -- that is, whether he's locked up for life by virtue of being unable to stand trial, or locked up for life upon conviction -- except that it seems to me that there are risks to him just sitting in the mental hospital. Not that he commits another crime, but that years from now, he decides to accept medication, and then his lawyer finds some loophole by which he's freed because too much time has passed to successfully convict him.

Patrick said...

Well part of his punishment should be forced medication.

The drugs are bad. But there are a lot of people taking them voluntarily. No reason to make him an exception.

If he can make that type of decision then lets declare his decision sane and try him that way

Michael said...

You would have to be crazy to want the medicine so i gather he is perfectly sane. It is the Catch 22 logic that must be employed. He has to be executed because if he said he wanted to be he would be crazy. But since he has indicated he is sane he must be executed.

Brad said...

"You can be drugged back to competency??"

Sounds like a solution for 5 or 6 Major League Baseball pitching staffs ....

John Lynch said...

I don't think he's crazy. Drugs are pointless. By trying to drug him the state is saying he's crazy when he's not.

He knew what he was doing.

Simon said...

If he's competent enough to decide on his medication, he's competent enough to be tried. Pick a story and stick with it.ske

Milwaukee said...

Why didn't the Sheriff and his parents notice his mental instability? Oh, they did. I hope this is settled soon enough that they can be tried for harboring a public menace.