A federal appeals court refused to stop prison officials from forcibly drugging Jared Lee Loughner, the key suspect in the shooting rampage that left a congresswoman with brain damage, and six dead.
Earlier this month attorneys for Loughner appealed a federal judge's decision that allows him to be forcibly medicated with mind-altering psychotropic drugs.
The defense, who filed its appeal in the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, contends that forcing Loughner to take the drugs violates his rights.
But Friday Judges denied the motion and also rejected the lawyers request for daily reports about Loughner's condition.
Prosecutors argued that Loughner needed to be medicated as he was a danger to himself and to others, and was not psychologically fit to stand trial.
The defense tried to appeal after US District Judge Larry Burns rejected an emergency petition in June that called for prison officials to stop medicating him. Instead, Burns deferred to the medical judgment the doctors.
He has already been administered powerful drugs, the hearing revealed.
I have no reason to disagree with the doctors here, he said at the time.
Prosecutors are hoping that the mix of psychotropic drugs, which are for treating mental illness, will restore Loughner to mental competency so he can stand trial .
He is accused of gunning down U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords and a number of other people at a political gathering outside a Tucson supermarket on January 8.
The drugs are necessary to control Loughners mental illness, prosecutors said.
This is a person who is a ticking time bomb, prosecutor Wallace Kleindienst said. He's lunged at his defense counsel and spits at her.
Indeed, court filings said that during an interview with a court-appointed psychologist in March, Loughner became enraged and threw a plastic chair at her -- twice. He also spat and lunged at his attorney.
Loughner pleaded not guilty in March to 49 charges stemming from the shooting rampage, including multiple counts of first-degree murder.
The 22-year-old college dropout has been forcibly medicated after an administrative hearing last month concluded he was a danger.
At the competency hearing in May, Burns cited the conclusions of two medical experts that Loughner suffers from schizophrenia, disordered thinking and delusions.
The judge has set a hearing for September 21 to determine whether Loughner's condition had improved enough for the proceedings against him to resume.