Sell v. United States, 539 U.S. 166, 21 (2003)

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Scalia, J., dissenting

the side effects of antipsychotic medication were likely to undermine the fairness of a trial in Sell's case.

Finally, the lower courts did not consider that Sell has already been confined at the Medical Center for a long period of time, and that his refusal to take antipsychotic drugs might result in further lengthy confinement. Those factors, the first because a defendant ordinarily receives credit toward a sentence for time served, 18 U. S. C. 3585(b), and the second because it reduces the likelihood of the defendant's committing future crimes, moderate—though they do not eliminate—the importance of the governmental interest in prosecution. See supra, at 180.


For these reasons, we believe that the present orders authorizing forced administration of antipsychotic drugs cannot stand. The Government may pursue its request for forced medication on the grounds discussed in this opinion, including grounds related to the danger Sell poses to himself or others. Since Sell's medical condition may have changed over time, the Government should do so on the basis of current circumstances.

The judgment of the Eighth Circuit is vacated, and the case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

It is so ordered.

Justice Scalia, with whom Justice O'Connor and Justice Thomas join, dissenting.

The District Court never entered a final judgment in this case, which should have led the Court of Appeals to wonder whether it had any business entertaining petitioner's appeal. Instead, without so much as acknowledging that Congress has limited court-of-appeals jurisdiction to "appeals from all final decisions of the district courts of the United States," 28 U. S. C. 1291 (emphasis added), and appeals from certain specified interlocutory orders, see 1292, the Court of Ap-

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