clap clap blog: we have moved

Monday, June 16, 2003
SCOTUS has (thankfully, y'ask me) ruled against allowing the broad, forced use of antipsychotic medication to get defendants fit to stand trial. It was 6-3; the oppositon sez:

In a dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia, joined by Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Clarence Thomas, said that the ruling would allow some criminal defendants "to engage in opportunistic behavior" to thwart prosecutions.

Look, guys. (Sandra? Say it ain't so!) I'm sure there are some Jim Carrey or Farreley brothers movies wherein a normal Joe gets diagnosed as crazy and then uses this as a blank check to engage in all kinds of anti-social behavior, but--trust me on this--if you're diagnosed with schitzophrenia or a delusional disorder, and are unmedicated, you really don't have the presence of mind to think, "Wow, I'm crazy, I can kill that guy and nothing will happen to me!" I suppose this thought may occur, but only as, well, a delusion.

Maybe these folks should be medicated, but to do so to make them competant to stand trial when they weren't lucid at the time of the offense seems, well, a bit unjust, and sounds like the court agrees with me.