Gabrielle Giffords resigned from the U.S. House Wednesday to continue her recovery more than a year after she was shot in the head when Jared Lee Loughner opened fire at constituent meeting in Tuscon, Ariz., killing six people.
Loughner, meanwhile, has been locked in a legal battle to avoid forced medication with psychotropic drugs. There are three appeals pending before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals over involuntary medication orders.
His attorneys argue that there should be a hearing to determine if Loughner, diagnosed with schizophrenia and currently held in a Missouri federal prison, can be medicated against his will. He had been forced to take antipsychotic drugs in June, but a court put a stop to the forced medication July 1. Loughner's condition worsened and federal prison officials started medicating him July 18 because he was seen as a threat to himself, court filings said.
The prison continues to violate Mr. Loughner's bodily integrity, to deprive him of his right to be free of unwanted psychiatric medication, his attorneys said in a November legal brief.
According to a report from two prison psychiatrists, Loughner would stay awake for days at a time, constantly paced and lost weight. A second doctor's report on efforts to make him fit for trial was due in court Wednesday.