Return to Forensic Home Page|| Return to Table of Contents
 

Landmark Cases

Case Name: RIGGINS v. STATE OF NEVADA

Date, Location, Cite: 1992 112 S. Ct. 1810, 504 U.S. 127
US Supreme Court NV

Riggins challenged his Capital murder & robbery convictions on the basis that NV unconstitutionally forced meds upon him (tho' he asked for them at first), jury couldn't see him in true state, didn't have full, free trial.

US Supreme Court held: The forced administration of antipsychotic medication during trial violated rights guaranteed by the 6th and 14th Amendments.

    (a) The 'true mental condition' was not raised at trial and, thus, was not considered by the Court.

    (b) The State might have justified the treatment by showing that a verdict could not be obtained otherwise.

    (c) There is a strong possibility that his defense was impaired.

    (d) Trial prejudice can sometimes be justified by an essential state interest but none was demonstrated.

[psychiatrist (Dr. R. Edward Quass) prescribed the antipsychotic drug Mellaril @800 mgm/day ]