Prison can't give psychotropic meds to Loughner

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PHOENIX (AP) -- An appeals court has ruled prison officials can't resume their forcible medication of psychotropic drugs for the suspect in the Tucson shooting rampage.

The ruling Tuesday by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal keeps in place an earlier order that temporarily stopped the involuntary medication of Jared Lee Loughner.

The order will remain in effect until the court rules on an appeal by Loughner's attorneys over a larger issue of forced medication.

Loughner had been forcibly medicated at a federal facility in Missouri after prison officials found that he was a danger. But the appeals court halted the medications on July 1.

The appeals court noted that prison authorities can take steps to maintain the safety of prison officials, other inmates or Loughner, including forcibly giving him tranquilizers.

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