Court Upholds Forcibly Medicating Accused Capitol Shooter
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals last Friday ruled that Russell Weston, the man accused of fatally shooting two U.S. Capitol Police officers in 1998, can be forced to take antipsychotic medication in order to make him "competent" to stand trial, the Washington Post reports. The ruling upholds a similar decision made by U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan in March. Attorneys for Weston, who has a "long history" of delusions, paranoia and schizophrenia, argued that forced medications could be "detrimental, and unethical, if they render him fit to stand trial and possibly risk execution." But the court ruled that Weston's right to refuse medication is outweighed by the "government's interest in identifying and convicting the person responsible" for the Capitol shootings, the Post reports. Federal Public Defender A.J. Kramer, the head of Weston's defense team, said he was "almost certain" that he would appeal the ruling to either the full appeals court or to the Supreme Court (Wilgoren, Washington Post, 7/28).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.