A court ruled that caregivers can force the man accused of shooting and killing three people at a Colorado Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in 2015 to take medication to restore his mental health in a Thursday ruling.
The Colorado Court of Appeals ruled unanimously to uphold a low court’s decision to allow the forced administration of anti-psychotic drugs to 59-year-old shooter Robert Lewis Dear in its Thursday decision, citing a U.S. Supreme Court ruling. “Because the (Supreme Court) test was met, we further conclude that the forced administration of antipsychotic medications to Dear is not an unconstitutional deprivation of his liberty,” the judges ruled in their decision, according to Reuters.
Dear admitted shooting three people at the Colorado Spring clinic in Nov. 2015. Judge Gilbert Martinez ordered a mental evaluation in response to Dear’s myriad outbursts that he was a baby warrior and other similar statements.
“Nobody has said that he is permanently incompetent,” Martinez said following his ruling, according to CNN. It’s not unusual that people are restored to competency. “There are cases where people have been found permanently incompetent. Those are rare situations.”
After Martinez ruled that Dear was not mentally competent enough to represent himself at trial, Dear has been held in a mental hospital but has refused all medications, according to court documents Reuters reports.
Under Colorado’s criminal insanity statute, a defendant is deemed insane if he “is so diseased or defective in mind at the time of the commission of the act as to be incapable of distinguishing right from wrong with respect to that act,” or “suffered from a condition of mind caused by mental disease or defect that prevented the person from forming a culpable mental state that is an essential element of a crime charged.” A defendant who is deemed unable to competently stand at trial undergoes a mental health evaluation every 90 days in order to determine if competency has been restored.
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