The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sullivan, District Judge.
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER
This matter is before the Court for its consideration of the
Bureau of Prisons ("BOP") decision to administer antipsychotic
medication to the defendant, Russell Eugene Weston, Jr., over his
objection. The defendant is a pretrial detainee committed by this
Court to the custody of the BOP for competency restoration
pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 4241 (d). Following two administrative
involuntary medication hearings ("administrative hearing"), the BOP
has determined that antipsychotic medication may be administered to
the defendant without his consent because: (1) he suffers from a
mental disorder, (2) he is dangerous to himself and others, (3) he is
gravely disabled, (4) he is unable to function in the open mental
health population, (5) he needs to be rendered competent for trial,
(6) he is mentally ill and medication is necessary to treat the
Upon consideration of the BOP decision to medicate the
defendant over his objection, the opposition thereto, relevant
statutory and case law, the record of proceedings, evidence and
arguments of counsel at two judicial oversight/evidentiary
hearings ("judicial hearing"), the Court authorizes the BOP to
administer antipsychotic medication to the defendant, Russell
Eugene Weston, Jr., over his objection.
The defendant has been charged in a six-count indictment with
the premeditated murders of United States Capitol Police Officers
Jacob J. Chestnut and John M. Gibson, the attempted murder of
United States Capitol Police Officer Douglas B. McMillan, and
three counts of carrying and use of a firearm during a crime of
violence. The government contends that all of these events
occurred on the grounds of the United States Capitol on July 24,
1998, while the victims were engaged in their official duties as
federal law enforcement officers.
On October 15, 1998, after a joint request by the government
and the defendant, this Court appointed Sally C. Johnson, M.D.,
Associate Warden Health Services, Mental Health Division, Federal
Correctional Institution-Butner ("FCI-Butner"), pursuant to
18 U.S.C. § 4241 (b), to conduct an outpatient psychiatric
examination of the defendant to assist the Court in determining
whether the defendant is competent to stand trial. At that time,
the defendant's poor physical condition precluded moving him from
the District of Columbia to Butner for an inpatient evaluation.
Dr. Johnson then examined the defendant for approximately twenty
hours, and in her November 12, 1998 report, she concluded that
the defendant is incompetent to stand trial. Following a number
of continuances requested by both sides, the Court scheduled a
competency hearing for February 22, 1999.
After receiving Dr. Johnson's report, the government then moved
to compel a second psychiatric examination of the defendant by
its expert. The defendant opposed the additional examination,
contending that the government had suggested the initial
appointment of Dr. Johnson. On January 28, 1999, the Court
granted the government's motion and, sua sponte, ordered an
inpatient psychiatric examination of the defendant at the United
States Medical Center for Federal Prisoners at Springfield,
Missouri.*fn1 See United States v. Weston, 36 F. Supp.2d 7
(D.D.C. 1999). The defendant appealed the Court's decision to the
United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
Circuit and moved for a stay pending the appeal. The Court of
Appeals denied both the defendant's motion for a stay and the
government's motion for summary affirmance. See United States v.
Weston, No. 99-3016, February 5, 1999 Order (D.C.Cir.) (per
curiam). Thereafter, this Court rescheduled the competency
hearing for April 19, 1999.
In late February 1999, the government and defense counsel
informed the Court that the defendant refused to be examined by
either the Court-appointed psychiatrist at Springfield or the
government's expert. Since neither expert was able to examine the
defendant, the Court ordered that the defendant be returned to
the District of Columbia for the competency hearing. On March 16,
1999, the Court provided the parties with a pre-hearing order
requiring the parties to provide information regarding the
witnesses and exhibits that each side expected to present at the
competency hearing. The Court also ordered the parties to brief
the issue of the possible forced medication of the defendant.
On April 9, 1999, because of the inability of its expert to
examine the defendant, the government withdrew its objection to a
finding of incompetency, and on April 22, 1999, the Court found
the defendant to be incompetent to proceed to trial pursuant to
18 U.S.C. § 4241 (d). The Court then committed the defendant
to the custody of the Attorney General for hospitalization and
treatment to determine whether a substantial probability existed
that he would attain the capacity to permit the trial to proceed
in the foreseeable future. See United States v. Weston, Criminal
Action No. 98-357 (EGS), April 22, 1999 Order (D.D.C.).
As part of the Court's Order and at the defendant's request, the
Court stayed any action by the BOP to medicate the defendant
without his consent and ordered the BOP to provide defense
counsel with notice of any administrative hearing. See id.
The defendant was admitted to FCI-Butner on May 5, 1999, with
Dr. Johnson as his treating physician. On May 20, Dr. Johnson
requested a Court order to treat the defendant with antipsychotic
medication. See Dr. Johnson Ltr., at 1-2 (5/20/99). According to
Dr. Johnson, the defendant refused to consent to the proposed
treatment, which resulted in the convening of an administrative
hearing. See 28 C.F.R. § 549.43 et seq. Pursuant to
administrative procedures, Mr. Ray Pitcairn, the Day Watch
Nursing Supervisor, was appointed by the hearing Officer, Dr.
Bryon Herbel, to serve as the defendant's Staff Representative.
See Dr. Johnson Ltr., Notice of Medication Hearing Rights and
Advisement of Rights (5/20/99).
The hearing officer determined that the defendant could be
medicated against his will because: (1) he suffers from a mental
disorder, (2) he is dangerous to self or others, (3) he is
gravely disabled, (4) he is unable to function in the open mental
health population, (5) he needs to be rendered competent for
trial, (6) he is mentally ill, and medication is necessary to
treat the mental illness. See Dr. Johnson Ltr., Involuntary
Medication Report, at 7 (5/20/99). The defendant then appealed
the hearing officer's decision, which was subsequently affirmed
by the Warden. Dr. Johnson stated that during her interview with
the defendant on May 20, the defendant "indicate[d] that he would
cooperate with medication if his attorneys advised him to do so
and if it was so ordered by the Court." See Dr. Johnson Ltr., at
After the first administrative hearing, the Court exercised its
judicial oversight responsibility and conducted a judicial
hearing on May 28, 1999, to afford the parties an opportunity to
address the BOP decision and its rationale and to afford the
defendant an opportunity to cross-examine Dr. Johnson and the
defendant's staff representative regarding their testimony and
participation at the administrative hearing. Dr. Johnson
described the process by which the decision to medicate the
defendant was made as well as the substantive bases for that
decision. The defendant cross-examined Dr. Johnson on all aspects
of her testimony, especially focusing on the bases for her
determination that the defendant is dangerous to himself and
others, the potential side effects of the medication, the
alternatives to medication, and the probability that the
defendant will be made competent as a result of the treatment.
The defendant also cross-examined the staff representative, Mr.
Pitcairn, on his role during the administrative hearing.
The Court questioned the witnesses in an effort to understand
the bases for Dr. Johnson's opinion to medicate the defendant and
to understand the administrative hearing process that was
followed. In addition, the Court questioned defense counsel
regarding Dr. Johnson's statement in her May 20 letter that the
defendant would cooperate with the medication if ordered by the
Court. According to defense counsel, the defendant's position is
that if the Court orders that he be medicated, "he is not going
to force them to hold him down and inject him with medication."
Hr'g Tr., at 3 (5/28/99).
After the judicial hearing, the Court remanded the decision to
the BOP for further proceedings as appropriate because of the
Court's concerns that the BOP had not precisely followed the
Court's April 22, 1999 Order or the procedures for the
administrative hearing. See United States v. Weston,
55 F. Supp.2d 23 (D.D.C. 1999). In particular, the Court found that
defense counsel had not been notified of the date of the initial
administrative hearing and that the defendant's staff
representative had failed to present any evidence or witnesses in
support of the defendant's position.*fn2
Pursuant to the remand, Dr. Johnson provided defense counsel
with notice of the date and time for the second administrative
hearing. Thus, Mr. Pitcairn, who was again appointed by the
Hearing Officer to serve as the defendant's Staff Representative,
was able to present evidence in support of the defendant's
position — a report from the defendant's expert witness, Raquel E.
Gur, MD., Ph.D., Professor and Director of ...