- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 14, 2000

A court-ordered psychiatric examination found that Russell Eugene Weston Jr., who is accused of killing two U.S. Capitol Police officers, should be forcibly medicated.
Dr. David G. Daniel determined that forcibly medicating Weston, a diagnosed schizophrenic, would help and not harm him. He also said the continued isolation of Weston is detrimental to his mental and physical health.
Weston's murder trial has been delayed until the issue of whether he should be forcibly medicated has been resolved.
"Anti-psychotic medication is essential to the treatment of psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia," Dr. Daniel said in his report. "Seclusion has the potential to interact with and worsen core 'negative' symptoms of schizophrenia … Moreover, seclusion represents the opposite of psychosocial treatment of schizophrenia."
Weston has been kept in isolation wards since his arrest because he is considered a danger to himself and others.
Weston is charged with murder in the deaths of U.S. Capitol Police Officers Jacob J. Chestnut, 58, and John M. Gibson, 42, on July 24, 1998. He said he went to the Capitol to regain control of a time machine he invented.
Dr. Daniel's findings, which were released yesterday, will be discussed during a hearing tomorrow at 10 a.m.
Dr. Daniel, a clinical professor of psychiatry and behavior sciences at George Washington University, was ordered Aug. 3 by U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan to conduct an unbiased examination of Weston.
Dr. Daniel was to determine if it is medically ethical to treat Weston against his will. He also was to review whether Weston is a danger to himself and others, and whether medicating Weston against his will would harm him.
Judge Sullivan had found Weston incompetent to stand trial and originally ordered he be forcibly treated to determine whether he would ever be mentally competent to stand trial.
But the U.S. Court of Appeals overturned the decision and told Judge Sullivan he must explore the issue further.
Dr. Daniel reviewed all of Weston's medical records and met with Weston for one hour on three different days. Weston refused to cooperate, Dr. Daniel's report states.
The report notes how Weston's medical condition deteriorated throughout his life and how he had been treated only once for his schizophrenia.
Weston was committed to the Helena State Hospital in Montana on Oct. 11, 1996, and was treated for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
During his commitment, he was medicated against his will; doctors reported his condition improved after he was medicated and until his release on Dec. 3, 1996.
"He appears to have responded in a clinically meaningful and beneficial fashion to anti-psychotic treatment," Dr. Daniel said of the report about the 1996 treatment.
Dr. Daniel said until Weston is treated with medication, he will be unable to assist doctors in the treatment of his illness.
"He cannot objectively evaluate the value of treatment until the conviction of his delusional system is reduced," Dr. Daniel said.
"There is substantial likelihood that, after an adequate course of anti-psychotic treatment, the patient's delusional conviction will be reduced, and he may display insight into the presence of a serious psychiatric disorder and the role of anti-psychotic treatment."

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide