Russell Eugene Weston Jr., the severely disturbed man who killed two Capitol police officers on July 24, 1998, has not yet even been arraigned, but a federal judge’s order permitting his involuntary treatment with anti-psychotic medication may have already greased the skids toward his potential execution.

That order is on appeal. Whatever the results in this case, however, forcing prisoners to ingest powerful, mind-altering drugs raises extremely troubling issues, both legal and ethical, especially in the capital setting.

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