OCTOBER TERM, 1991
certiorari to the supreme court of nevada
No. 90-8466. Argued January 15, 1992—Decided May 18, 1992
When petitioner Riggins, while awaiting a Nevada trial on murder and robbery charges, complained of hearing voices and having sleep problems, a psychiatrist prescribed the antipsychotic drug Mellaril. After he was found competent to stand trial, Riggins made a motion to suspend the Mellaril's administration until after his trial, arguing that its use infringed upon his freedom, that its effect on his demeanor and mental state during trial would deny him due process, and that he had the right to show jurors his true mental state when he offered an insanity defense. After hearing the testimony of doctors who had examined Riggins, the trial court denied the motion with a one-page order giving no indication of its rationale. At Riggins' trial, he presented his insanity defense and testified, was convicted, and was sentenced to death. In affirming, the State Supreme Court held, inter alia, that expert testimony presented at trial was sufficient to inform the jury of the Mellaril's effect on Riggins' demeanor and testimony.
Held: The forced administration of antipsychotic medication during Rig-gins' trial violated rights guaranteed by the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments. Pp. 133-138. (a) The record narrowly defines the issues in this case. Administration of Mellaril was involuntary once Riggins' motion to terminate its use was denied, but its administration was medically appropriate. In addition, Riggins' Eighth Amendment argument that the drug's administration denied him the opportunity to show jurors his true mental condition at the sentencing hearing was not raised below or in the petition for certiorari and, thus, will not be considered by this Court. P. 133. (b) A pretrial detainee has an interest in avoiding involuntary administration of antipsychotic drugs that is protected under the Due Process Clause. Cf. Washington v. Harper, 494 U. S. 210; Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U. S. 520, 545. Once Riggins moved to terminate his treatment, the State became obligated to establish both the need for Mellaril and its medical appropriateness. Cf. Harper, supra, at 227. Due process certainly would have been satisfied had the State shown that the treatment was medically appropriate and, considering less intrusive alternatives, essential for Riggins' own safety or the safety of others. The State also might have been able to justify the treatment, if medically appro-
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