One of the downsides of living in a country that has as much freedom and dedication to individual rights are Supreme Court Rulings like this one:
The Supreme Court ruled today that the government has only a limited right to force mentally ill defendants charged with nonviolent crimes to take medication to make them competent for trial.
The 6-3 ruling sets a series of conditions that must be met before a mentally ill defendant can be drugged against his will, erecting a relatively high bar for prosecutors. Justice Stephen G. Breyer, writing for the majority, said that “involuntary administration of drugs solely for trial competence purposes” should occur only “in limited circumstances.”
The justices effectively set out a checklist for government to meet: Its interest in prosecuting a serious crime must be great; the treatment must be medically appropriate and be the least intrusive remedy available; and the treatment must be “substantially unlikely to have side effects that may undermine the fairness of the trial.”
Admitted, my legal knowledge is limited, but it seems to me there needs to be a very high bar set before forcing individuals to be medicated against their will. To those of you with legal backgrounds and a better understanding of the case law, I would appreciate your comments or links to anything you may have written about this issue so I can read them and pass them along.
*** Update ***
It appears I completely misread this article, and it will have no impact on individuals outside the courtroom. Thus, my comments and, in particular, my title, are a rambling, incoherent, ill-informed mess. In other words, ignore this post- unless you have something more intelligent to say than I have- which, given the low bar I have set here, should not be difficult.