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  • “You Might Have Drugs at Your Command”: Reconsidering the Forced Drugging of Incompetent Pre-Trial Detainees from the Perspectives of International Human Rights and Income Inequality

    The title of this paper draws on Bob Dylan’s song Gotta Serve Somebody, from Slow Train Coming, the first album of his gospel/born again period. The lyric I am using comes from this verse: You might be a rock ‘n’ roll addict prancing on the stage You might have drugs at your command, women in a cage You may be a businessman or some high-degree thief They may call you Doctor or they may call you Chief But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed You’re gonna have to serve somebody Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord But you’re gonna have to serve somebody According to Michael Gray, one of the most prominent of Dylan scholars, the song urges that “moral shiftiness be renounced in favour of clear-sightedness about a clear and unavoidable choice.” Defendants who are incompetent to stand trial often are deprived of their rights to make such “clear” choices, though the consequences are often “unavoidable.”