Perry v. Sims, No. 19-1497 (7th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
Perry suffers from serious mental illness defined by two suicide attempts, severe depression, paranoid schizophrenia, and auditory hallucinations. He is serving a 70-year sentence for murdering his former wife during a fit of paranoia in 2013. In 2016, while housed in the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility in southern Indiana, Perry’s condition worsened. He refused all medication, stopped eating because he feared someone had poisoned his food, renewed his conspiracy claims against the Wabash medical staff, and threatened to kill himself if left in his cell any longer. A medical review and administrative hearing culminated in a decision to forcibly administer the antipsychotic medication Haldol. Injections continued for about six months.
Perry later sued under 42 U.S.C. 1983, alleging that the forcible medication violated the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment and the Due Process Clause. The district court denied Perry’s request to appoint counsel, finding that Perry understood his case and quite ably prosecuted it. The Seventh Circuit affirmed summary judgment for the defendants. The defendants attended carefully to Perry’s health and safety. The Facility’s Review Committee had enough evidence to demonstrate that Perry was a danger to himself or others so as to justify the involuntary administration of Haldol.