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Jared Loughner to be forced to take anti-psychotic medication

By the CNN Wire Staff
Jared Lee Loughner is charged in a mass shooting that killed six and injured 13, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
Jared Lee Loughner is charged in a mass shooting that killed six and injured 13, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
  • He has crying fits and has asked to die, prosecutors said
  • The suspect has been diagnosed as schizophrenic, prosecutors said
  • Loughner's attorneys say forcing him to take strong drugs violates his rights
  • He is accused of shooting U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and several others

(CNN) -- Bizarre and suicidal actions of Arizona shooting suspect Jared Lee Loughner have pushed a federal appeals panel to reverse an earlier decision and allow authorities to force him to take anti-psychotic medication.

The three-judge panel for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals based in San Francisco had ruled on July 12 that Loughner can refuse anti-psychotic medication.

But since that ruling, Loughner, who has been diagnosed as schizophrenic, has deteriorated, prosecutors said.

He's had screaming and crying fits that last hours, he has harmed himself and claims that the radio was inserting thoughts into his head, prosecutors said.

Loughner has also expressed "regret for the circumstances that led to his arrest," prosecutors wrote in court documents.

When asked whether he had thoughts of harming himself, Loughner said: "I want to die. Give me the injection. Kill me now," court documents said.

Authorities placed Loughner on suicide watch and prosecutors argued in court documents that he would continue to deteriorate and could become more dangerous if he continues to refuse the drugs.

The judges released a ruling Friday that allowed authorities to force him to take the medication.

Loughner is charged with killing six people -- including the chief federal judge of Arizona, John Roll -- in a supermarket parking lot in Tucson, Arizona, on January 8.

Among the 13 people wounded was U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Arizona, who was shot in the head.

The suspect is being held in a federal mental hospital after an earlier court ruling found him incompetent to stand trial.

His attorneys have argued that forcing him to take strong drugs violates his rights.

Administering the anti-psychotic drugs was more about restoring his competency for trial rather than dealing with his behavior, his attorneys said in court filings.

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