Court overturns forced medication order in bank threat

December 20, 2018

DETROIT (AP) — An appeals court has overturned a decision to forcibly medicate a mentally ill man who is accused of placing a suspicious briefcase outside a downtown Detroit bank in 2015.

The government says the briefcase was made to look like a bomb, although it didn’t contain an explosive device. A federal appeals court said Wednesday that the case isn’t serious enough to “warrant mandated medication.”

Duane Berry has been declared incompetent to stand trial. Federal Judge David Lawson ordered him to be forcibly medicated to try to restore his mental health for trial.

But the appeals court says Berry’s alleged crime wasn’t violent, even if it was intended to cause fear. The court also noted that Berry’s pre-trial detention likely matches the length of any prison sentence, if convicted.

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