The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Advertisement
The Northgate district right adjacent to the Texas A&M campus houses a street of bars and other restaurants.  
Programs look to combat drunk driving
Alexia Serrata, JOUR 203 contributor • May 10, 2024
Advertisement
Freshman Cayetana Fernández García-Poggio appears to put in the rain during the Bryan Regional of the NCAA Women’s Golf Championship at Traditions Golf Club on Monday, May 6, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
A&M’s season wraps up with 3-0 loss to UCLA in NCAA quarterfinals
Luke White, Sports Editor • May 21, 2024

The Texas A&M women’s golf team’s habit of struggling to close out matches led to the closing of its season on Tuesday, May 21, with...

Advertisement
Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
Advertisement
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Supreme Court debates limits of forced drugging

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court wrangled Monday over the government’s authority to force nonviolent criminal defendants — and potentially other people not charged with crimes — to take drugs against their will.
The court is considering whether a dentist, now locked up in a psychiatric unit, can be forced to take anti-psychotic drugs to make him well enough to stand trial for health care fraud. But the justices did not limit their discussions to the drugging of people facing charges.
Justice Sandra Day O’Connor asked if the government can require children to be vaccinated against smallpox. Justice Anthony Kennedy evoked an image of defendants and witnesses being injected before a trial with drugs that control their behavior. If the government can medicate the dentist, why not a person charged with a traffic violation, Justice Stephen Breyer asked.
The case asks the court to balance the government’s interest in punishing nonviolent crime with a person’s constitutional right to control his or her body.
Some justices indicated they may throw out the case without ever answering that question because of concern that it was improperly appealed, since the case hasn’t yet come to trial.
Government attorney Michael Dreeben said the court needs to resolve uncertainty about forced medications.
Each year hundreds of federal defendants are put on medication to make them competent to stand trial. Most take the drugs willingly. In a recent 12-month period, 59 people were medicated against their wishes and about three-fourths were restored to competency, according to government.
In a series of decisions more than a decade ago, the Supreme Court ruled that inmates considered dangerous could be forced to take medication and that defendants in criminal trials could be required to take drugs if it was medically appropriate.
Charles Sell, 53, of St. Louis, has spent more than four years in a prison hospital as his lawyers fought over his drugging, more jail time than he would receive if convicted of the fraud crimes.
He has been diagnosed with a delusional disorder. Court records show that Sell has seen imaginary leopards, believes the FBI is trying to kill him and wants to go into combat.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *