Russell Eugene Weston Jr., 44 years old, walked into the Capitol Building in Washington DC on July 24th, 1998, in order to save the world from cannibals, and to retrieve top secret information from a satellite system that was capable of time-travel. I’m not sure why he thought the government would be of any use to him, but he did, and when the government didn’t listen he shot and killed two guards.
He is imprisoned in Butner, North Carolina, in solitary, because, after all, he is mad. In what used to be the civilized world, he would be in some kind of treatment program where smart people with degrees in psychology would be trying to help him recover his senses. But this is America of the 21st century and bloodlust over-rules compassion so the government wants very badly to put him on trial for murder and sentence him to death.
The trouble is, of course, that Mr. Weston appears to be insane. It is a well-established facet of the modern justice system that a person who is not responsible for his actions cannot be convicted of crimes committed while he was not responsible for his actions, ie., in possession of his faculties, his reason, his ability to discern right from wrong.
A small obstacle to be sure. In a new, significant skirmish in the real drug war– the war waged by pharmaceuticals to get everybody onto drugs– a three judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit ordered him to be medicated!
Mr. Weston’s lawyer– a public defender (and we all know how awesome public defenders are)– is considering an appeal. Of course, appeals ultimately end up in the hands of those robed dildos of Partisan Politics, the Supremes.
Well, what is wrong with medicating this guy so he can be ruled sane so he can be tried for murders committed while he was insane? And then executed? We need to provide a nice deterrent to all those crazy UFO-believers out there with guns.
Apart from the obvious– that just because medications can make him appear to be sane doesn’t mean he was sane at the time of the murders– there is the absurd circumstance of the government drugging people into certain specified conditions (guided by the high priests of mental sanitation, psychiatrists and psychologists) in order to obtain particular results from the justice system.
I know– it’s hard to wrap your mind around this issue, especially if it’s medicated. But break it down. The drugs in question are those very powerful psychotropic drugs the mission of which is to alter a person’s personality or emotions.
Is this allowed by the constitution? The very question is insane– of course not. The idea that a constitution that protects the right of privacy and freedom of speech and presumes innocence until proof of guilt is established and validated by a duly constituted jury or judge, would permit any government body to forcibly alter a person’s mind with powerful psychotropic drugs— it’s absolutely outrageous.
But that’s not even the most objectionable part of it all. Of what use is this procedure to the prosecution? The man was probably insane when he shot the two guards. The prosecution wishes to argue that he was not insane. They are allowed to specify how his mind should be altered in order to present him as evidence in support of their view????
The precedent is shattering. With the pharmaceutical companies already revving up the corporate cheer-leaders, every prosecutor in the country will now consider the option of obtaining a court order to force prescribed personality alterations of defendants in criminal actions.
You think I’m getting carried away? What if I had told you 50 years ago that we were headed towards the kind of society in which people who are unhappy or dissatisfied with their lives in any form would go to their doctors and readily obtain prescriptions for powerful mood-altering substances that would help them cope with their terrible little lives?
You would have thought I was insane.