Justice Denied

The Third Circuit has denied Dr. Bernard Rottschaefer's appeal.

For background, read my column on the initial prosecution of Rottschaefer here.

The justices declined to hear oral arguments in the case and, judging by the curt opinion, it looks as if they didn't bother to read the briefs, either. Rottschaefer's lawyers put together a compelling appeal with new evidence that every government witness against Rottschaefer gave false or misleading testimony. The Third Circuit dismissed those claims in all of two-and-a-half pages.

Incidentally, U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan's star witness in the case against Rottschaefer, Jennifer Riggle, is currently a fugitive from justice for other crimes. The career criminal admitted in letters to her boyfriend that she lied on the stand during Rottschaefer's trial as part of a plea for leniency on her own charges. To this day, Buchanan maintains that despite all of that, Riggle was telling the truth on the stand and Rottschaefer--a doctor with no prior record whatsoever--was lying.

Meanwhile, instead of prosecuting Riggle for her admitted perjury in Rottschaefer's case, Buchanan has taken to more important matters, like prosecuting a woman for writing fictional (though admittedly depraved) stories on the Internet. Even a former Republican attorney general has called for her to resign, due to her baldly political prosecution in another case. Buchanan also brought the absurd bong case against Tommy Chong, and the first federal obscenity case in 20 years. She may not give a damn about justice, but she's got a nose for the headlines.

She won't resign, of course. It's no secret in Pennsylvania that Buchanan's angling for a career in politics. She certainly seems to have the moral compass for it.

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  • ||

    Fucking yinzer bitch. That's all there is to say about her.

  • ||

    "The justices declined to hear oral arguments in the case"

    The Third Circuit rarely hears oral argument, as do many courts nowadays considering how crowded the dockets are. In any event, oral argument is most often a pointless exercise as the decision is made beforehand.

    As to the merits, take it up with the jury and Congress. Appeals courts rarely overturn pure factual findings, especially those that turn on credibility determinations, and indeed they are not supposed to.

    Again, courts are bound by laws passed by the legislature so long as they are constitutional. Even though the writers at Reason magazine (and myself) don't like those laws, that's what the Third Circuit was obliged to follow. Again, you're barking up the wrong tree here.

  • ||

    Again, courts are bound by laws passed by the legislature so long as they are constitutional. Even though the writers at Reason magazine (and myself) don't like those laws, that's what the Third Circuit was obliged to follow.



    Friends, let me tell you about another bunch of hate mongers that were just following orders: they were called Nazis, and they practically wiped a nation of people from the Earth!

  • Radley Balko||

    "Daniel" --

    Thanks for the legal lesson--and the condescension. Now go read the actual briefs.

    Rottschaefer's lawyers presented new evidence, evidence not only that the government's witnesses lied, but that the state withheld evidence from the defense (about the prior medical histories of state's witnesses). And one witness flat out admitted after the trial that she lied on the stand.

    Every government witness alleging improper prescriptions was shown to have given false testimony.

    Should have been more than enough to meet the test for a new trial.

  • ||

    Do you have links to the briefs. I will read them when I have a chance.

    Don't mean to sound condescending, but again, the Third Circuit ought to be very low on the shit list here.

  • ||

    Also would help if you had links to the prosecution's brief(s).

  • Bingo||

    As if additional stimulus were needed for drinking tonight, thanks Radley :P

  • ||

    Its a damn shame there isn't national outrage at Mary Buchanan. Its telling that she thinks that this would help her career in politics and I hope she is dead wrong. I hope there is some other court for Dr. Rottschaefer to appeal to. It would set a great precedent if the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government cannot tell a doctor that he is prescribing too much of something. But we all know that wont happen, I just hope he gets off.

  • Libertarians for Obama||

    At least Obama might actually fire her, unlike John "Ignore my wife's drug use while I call for harsher drug laws" McCain.

  • ||

    All,

    The briefs are referenced on the Pain Relief Network's website. Within the briefs, Dr. Rottschaefer presented evidence that demonstrated that none of the patient witnesses were addicted, that none of the patient witnesses engaged in sex with the doctor, and that none of the patients were prescribed inadequate or improper dosages of the medications. In fact, the medications prescribed were the lowest dosages allowable, all patients affirmed that they received medical benefits from these medications, and these patients confirmed that they continued to get the same medications at stronger dosages form other physicians even during Dr. Rottschaefer's trial (a piece of evidence that Mary Beth Buhcanan withheld from Dr. Rottschaefer's defense during trial).

    Unfortunately the thirds circuit justices chose not to review any of this information and just affirm the conviction. Additionally, the third circuit judges chose to included a knowlingly false slanderous accusation against Dr. Rottschaefer in an attempt to smite him for attempting to appeal an unjustice verdict. I will not reference this statement since it is disproven by all the evidence presented within the court record and would be knowingly false. Unlike the justices, I can not hide behind my position and slander individuals.

    It is clear that Judges SLOVITER, SMITH and STAPLETON are more interested in upholding unjustice verdicts than doing their job. It is unfortunate that after proving the prosecution's case is nothing more than a pack of lies, Dr. Rottschaefer is faced with incompetent judges that choose not to review the evidence they are presented with.

    God help us all if incompetent idiots like SLOVITER, SMITH and STAPLETON are on the bench. No one is safe with these morons on the bench.

    For prosecutors that are looking to make a name for themselves through convictions at any cost (even false convictions as in Dr. Rottschaefer case) come to the third district for as long as SLOVITER, SMITH and STAPLETON are on the bench you have ringers in your corner.

  • ||

    Daniel,

    Please stop giving the half assed legal information. The appeal in Dr. Rottschaefer's trial related to newly discovered evidence via a motion for new trial. Since the district judge turned the motion down, it was able to be appealed via the constitution and rules of the court.

    As for the prosecution brief, it consisted of not addressing any of the newly discovered evidence that was presented and instead held that sufficiency of the trial evidence excluding the newly discovered evidence held the conviction.

    I understand why you are not familiar with these legal matters. It is very rare that one let alone all prosecutions witnesses (as in the case of Dr. Rottschaefer) would go into court and confirm under oath that they lied (perjuried themselves) during Dr. Rottschaefer's criminal trial.

    Additionally, it is even more rare that the district judge confronted with this newly discovered evidence that all controlling patient testimony was false would uphold the conviction.

    Lastly, it is obscene that judges SLOVITER, SMITH and STAPLETON would uphold such a decision in the trial and decision by the district judge in this case and utilize their brief to slander the defendent.

    So Daniel, when you read you law text books, realize that in certain cases, egos of judges trump proof and perjury bought by prosecutors such as Mary Beth Buchanan goes unpunished.

    As for the briefs, go to the Pain Relief Network. If you want the prosecution brief with factual errors, misrepresentations of the trial record, and outright lies, ask Mary Beht Buchanan or go to Pacer.

    In the end, perhpas you should just reveiw the trial record and review the new evidence and decide if the conviction is upheld. Oh wait, the third circuit was suppose to do this and they chose not to. You said not to hold them accountable.

  • ||

    radley,

    Please understand, Daniel is probably the recent law grad that the judges chose to read th motions and prepare the opinion in this appeals decision. As such, he probable does not like having his opinion outted for the idiotic view that it is.

  • Les||

    Don't mean to sound condescending, but again, the Third Circuit ought to be very low on the shit list here.

    If they're ignoring evidence (and strong evidence it is), why shouldn't they be high on the shit list?

  • Elemenope||

    Friends, let me tell you about another bunch of hate mongers that were just following orders: they were called Nazis, and they practically wiped a nation of people from the Earth!

    Cancer merchant! Cancer merchant! Cancer merchant!

  • ktc2||

    Appeals courts are mostly useless everywhere. They are required to start from the position that the previous order is correct and the burden of overcoming that prejudice is near impossible.

    An overhaul of our entire appeals system would be a great big first step in fixing our horribly pathetic "justice" system.

  • ktc2||

    My sole personal experience with an appeals court proves this to my satisfaction.

    I wrote an appeal for a lady (well, typed it for her she's blind). She had a domestic violence injunction against her ex-husband who had admitted in court to holding a loaded gun to her head, promising to kill her and her son and beating her head against a tile floor until she went blind. A local judge vacated the order at the husbands request. After everything he did to her he managed to convince a local judge that she was just paranoid about him. The appeals court did nothing.

  • ||

    Mary Beth Buchanan is a national embarassment. I would love to President for no other reason than to have the security gaurds show up at her office, take her keys and roughly escort her out of the justice department offices where she works. I would be sure to make it as humiliating as possible and issue a long press release explaining why she was fired and how she is the worst US attorney in American history. God that would be fun.

  • ||

    I would love to President for no other reason than to have the security gaurds show up at her office, take her keys and roughly escort her out of the justice department offices where she works.

    Ain't gonna happen, John. This administration needs much better reasons for firing U.S. attorneys. Of course they are completely unable to explain what those reasons are, but I'm certain incompetence and lack of ethics aren't the firing criteria they use. It has to be something more partisan important than that.

  • ||

    J sub D,

    It isn't going to happen under this or any other administration. Buchanan is a true bottom dweller. She knows how to kiss ass with the best of them. Whatever the next administration's hobby horse's are, Buchanan will be throwing herself into prosecuting. When she was an assistant US attorney under the Clinton Administration, you know what her bailiwick was? Violence against women. Then she got appointed by Bush and drugs and pornography became her big priorities. That woman is totally devoid of morals or principles. She will survive any change of administration.

  • ||

    No way a Democratic President is going to ask a female US Attorney to resign. Ain't gonna happen. We're stuck with her.

    Could it also be that's she still around because of the giant shitstorm that hit the Bush White House when they asked for the resignations of all sitting US Attorneys back in the day?

  • ||

    "Could it also be that's she still around because of the giant shitstorm that hit the Bush White House when they asked for the resignations of all sitting US Attorneys back in the day?"

    No. Look at who her AG was. Ashcroft. Buchanan went after drugs and porn big. Like I said, she knows how to kiss ass. Put a Democratic Administation in and I gaurentee you she will discover the national crises in violence against women and minorities or whatever else pulls the chain of the current administration. There is a special ring in hell for that woman.

  • Episiarch||

    ARRGGGHHHHH.

    The stuff you post is often bad enough, Radley, but the average person assumes that if you present evidence that everyone testifying against you lied, it's like automatic freedom time. When you post stuff like this I need to take a Valium because it's so infuriating.

  • Jennifer||

    Let's just do away with trials altogether and switch to a lottery system: when a crime has been committed, we pick a local resident at random and say "YOU did it, so YOU go to jail." Why not? The only thing that matters is that the prosecution get warm bodies to fill the cells; whether or not said bodies actually committed a crime is immaterial.

  • ||

    The only thing that matters is that the prosecution get warm bodies to fill the cells; whether or not said bodies actually committed a crime is immaterial.

    I'm not convinced that every prosecutor operates that way. I'd bet the majority don't. The problem is that there is zero accountability in the profession. Put an innocent person in prison while withholding eveidence and suborning perjury and your punishment is ???

    Mary Beth Buchanan should be doing hard time. Following Radleys Mississippi exposés makes me think that half of the DAs in that third world state should be doing time.

    It'll never happen. TANJ, TANJ and douoble TANJ.

  • ||

    I'm not convinced that every prosecutor operates that way. I'd bet the majority don't.

    I bet the majority do. They are rewarded for convictions and nothing else. The question is, how big is the minority who occasionally resist the incentive and reward structure they operate under?

  • ||

    "I bet the majority do. They are rewarded for convictions and nothing else. The question is, how big is the minority who occasionally resist the incentive and reward structure they operate under?"

    They do and they are fortuneate in that most people that are arrested are guilty. Since about 95% of the defendents who come accross their desks are guilty, they can just assume all of them are guilty and be right 95% of the time. Most DAs are over worked and underpaid. They don't have the time or the interest in playing Perry Mason on every case and generally take the cops word for it. You can thank the drug war and the overloading of our justice system for a good part of that.

  • Robert||

    Buchanan is a true bottom dweller. She knows how to kiss ass with the best of them. Whatever the next administration's hobby horse's are, Buchanan will be throwing herself into prosecuting. When she was an assistant US attorney under the Clinton Administration, you know what her bailiwick was? Violence against women. Then she got appointed by Bush and drugs and pornography became her big priorities. That woman is totally devoid of morals or principles. She will survive any change of administration.


    The details of the hobby horses aside, isn't this how we want the appointees of our elected officials to be? Otherwise what would be the point of elections? You elect people to act in certain ways, including hiring other people to act certain ways, whether they believe in those actions or not. Isn't that the way with all employment? Do we ask employees to believe in what they're doing, or just to do the job a certain way because that's what we're paying them for?

    I keep bringing this point up and I never get an answer. There seems to be some romance out there that confuses gov't service with religion, that says ya gotta believe.

  • ||

    Alright, Robert, I'll give it a whirl.

    Federal Prosecutors are supposed to be concerned with bring to trial cases where a federal law has been violated. They are supposed to be beyond partisanship and simply prosecute the law as it is written. Maybe part of the problem is they get to decide here and there when to prosecute, which is why Buchanan picks and chooses based on whose ass she needs to kiss this week.

    I'd prefer prosecutors weren't tied to any administration, but be more career servicepeople, like IRS employees. (That doesn't mean I like what the IRS does, but they are less concerned about who is the executive than they are with stealing, I mean, collecting our taxes.)

    The prosecutors should be the same. Now, having said that, we need to get Congress to repeal most of the laws, but that's our job, not the Justice Department.

  • ||

    To the person that wrote "Most DAs are over worked and underpaid. They don't have the time or the interest in playing Perry Mason on every case and generally take the cops word for it."

    I will say affirmatively that this excuse for the actions of the prosecution is lacking. The prosecution was provided evidence in the form of sworn depositions from all patient witnesses in this case that said affirmatively the patients lied about all the accusations and the crime. There really is no need to do a perry mason review on this one.

    Instead of rectifying the situation, the US Attorney, Mary Beth Buchanan, argued in court that the new testimonies should not be factored into the verdict and since she won a verdict on false and perjured testimony the verdict should stand.

    So please, don't tell people that Mary Beth Buchanan has no time to do her job or provide some other excuse. When someone is handed the information that their case is bullshit, you expect them to do the right thing.

  • Robert||

    Federal Prosecutors are supposed to be concerned with bring to trial cases where a federal law has been violated. They are supposed to be beyond partisanship and simply prosecute the law as it is written.


    That's not what I'd want at all from, say, president Ron Paul's nominees. I'd want to use every advantage to twist things pro-freedom, mostly just by not prosecuting. And if I were the nominee, that's just how I'd act.

    And even if I had no particular ideology, discretion by a prosecutor is unavoidable. How many possible violations of federal law are going on at any time? How could you possibly investigate and then prosecute all equally, rather than prioritizing very very much?

  • Jennifer||

    Anybody who could blithely ignore the fact that she put an innocent man in jail is a conscience-free sociopath. Maybe we could try making it illegal for such people to get jobs as prosecutors?

  • ||

    Robert, that's why I said we need to get Congress to repeal laws. But when we have two parties who have no interest in doing so, I'd just as soon have the DOJ prosecute existing laws without partisan direction. It then shows the parties that a lot of the existing laws are not very good. That's the only way to get these parties to start repealing laws. Simply ignoring them for four or eight years doesn't take them off the books. It's a complete mess, of that I think we agree.

  • ||

    cunt!

  • CFroh||

    Radley, you're the best libertarian writer in D.C. on the issue of the Government's War on Pain and Pain Patients. I've linked to your work at my blog entry for today, http://www.commoninterest.info/2008/02/14/happy-valentines-to-all-except-the-state/, and would love Reason's readers to click on my link and leave a "comment." Doing so would help spread the word beyond Reason's site.

    I included in my blog entry the lawsuit filed by a client, Pain Relief Network, against Kansas and DoJ for denying medicine to patients whose clinic was seized by the state. So the issue is in the courts, as Congress continues to ignore the cries of pain. I of course skewer Pennsylvania Senator Specter, who as top Republican on the Judiciary Committee could influence the monster Buchanan, or lower himself to actually help the Pennsylvania pain patients, but he's too busy attacking creative athletes, and too blinded by the brainwashing of "addiction" and "diversion." God help us all, if we need medicine for pain.

    Blessings.

  • Robert||

    But when we have two parties who have no interest in doing so, I'd just as soon have the DOJ prosecute existing laws without partisan direction. It then shows the parties that a lot of the existing laws are not very good. That's the only way to get these parties to start repealing laws. Simply ignoring them for four or eight years doesn't take them off the books.


    That's crazy writing. I'd rather have them ignored for as long as possible, as often as possible, than have them enforced in the mere hope that they might then be repealed. Even if they are repealed, they can be re-enacted. Meanwhile, every time they were ignored was a good time.

    Why not burn down the bldg. to get rid of the threat of all that flammable material?

  • ||

    Dr. Rottschaefer's case is a national travesty. No matter how people attempt to rationalize what has occurred, it is clear an innocent man and his family have been crucified through the abuse of power by US Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan and the Third Circuit Court.

    When Ms. Buchanan first brought charges against Dr. Rottschaefer, she went to congress and the public with accusations that Dr. Rottschaefer traded sex for drugs. During the trial and aftermath of the trial, Dr. Rottschaefer provided evidence from Buchanan's own witnesses that the sex allegations were fiction. Additional evidence in the form of the prosecution witnesses' own written words documented that the entire allegations brought by Ms. Buchanan were a result of planted false testimony by Assistant US Attorney Mary McKeen Houghton and DEA Investigator Lou Colossimo. With evidence in hand, Dr. Rottschaefer sought a new trial and asked Mary Beth Buchanan to investigate the perjury committed. While the court refused to grant a new trial saying that the sex allegations were not relevant to the convictions, Ms. Buchanan refused to both investigate the allegations or revoke the plea deal with her witnesses. You see Mary Beth Buchanan released five convicted drug dealers out of state jail in exchange for their testimonies. Of course, Mary orally promised these deals for the patients' testimonies and executed the deals in writing after trial. The patients confirmed these oral agreements in correspondences and documented meetings with other physicians prior to Dr. Rottschaefer's trial. Of course, the court chose to overlook this evidence rather than hold Ms. Buchanan accountable for illegal actions of her staff and possibly her.

    Before people interject that there is a DOJ process for review in these situations, such mechanisms were broken due to the conflict of interests of the Bush DOJ. You see Mary Beth Buchanan served as Director of the Executive Office of the DOJ during the period that this evidence surfaced. Since the Executive Office is responsible for disciplinary proceedings on US Attorneys, it is clear that Ms. Buchanan serving as the judge of her own actions violates this review mechanism. As such, Ms. Buchanan has done no review of the clear prosecutorial misconduct and abuse of her office by her own staff in this case.

    In Rottschaefer's second appeal, Dr. Rottschaefer provided evidence in the form of sworn statements by all five patient witnesses that they lied at his trial concerning their medical conditions. With the complete medical records within his possession, Dr. Rottschaefer's legal team confronted the patients concerning their allegations of addiction and no medical need. The patients recanted their testimonies and stated the medications were for medical need and that the medicalications assisted with their medical ailments of chronic pain and anxiety/panic disorder. The patients even went further to note that they not only continued treatment with these medications from other physicians after seeing Dr. Rottschaefer, but also that they received stronger/higher dosages of these same medications from other physicians during the time of Dr. Rottschaefer's trial. Of course, Mary Beth Buchanan did not prosecute these other physicians and she did not disclose this evidence to Dr. Rottschaefer's legal team.

    Now with documented proof that the patients had medical need for the medications and that Dr. Rottschaefer was acting as a physician when prescribing these medications to the patients and not as a drug dealer, Dr. Rottschaefer sought a new trial. In response, Mary Beth Buchanan raised the sex allegations that she disavowed in her previous motions that she wrote and the court chose not to act.

    As it stands, the Third Circuit says openly that Dr. Rottschaefer prescribed a legal medication for known medical ailments that the medications were approved to treat and that the sex for drugs allegations were never proven within two separate opinions. The court still refuses to overturn the verdict and has basically opined that while the actions of a physician of prescribing these medications are legal, they find Dr. Rottschaefer guilty regardless of the rule of law.

    Some may argue that Dr. Rottschaefer is guilty of malpractice (a crime which is not a federal felony and only a civil issue). Such an argument is not sound via the current court records. After Dr. Rottschaefer's trial, all five patients and two other prosecution witnesses sued Dr. Rottschaefer for malpractice . To date, three of the cases were dismissed by the plantiffs when they were provided notification that they would have to testify under oath and release documents for review to Dr. Rottschaefer's legal team. Four other cases have been thrown out by the courts as lacking merit. The remaining case is currently still in discovery phase and has not gone to trial. As such, it appears that the good doctor is not guilty of malpractice.

    What also happened in the court proceedings was that the five patients confirmed under oath that Assistant US Attorney Mary McKeen Houghton instructed them to file the lawsuits. The initial question on origin of the lawsuits was raised because all these parties waited until after Dr. Rottschaefer's trial to file these suits. When asked, some of the patients could not answer the question saying phrases like I don't recall, while others stated affirmatively that an agent of Mary Beth Buchanan's office, Assistant US Attorney Mark McKeen Houghton instructed them to file the suits. Coincidentally, Mary McKeen Houghton is the same US Attorney that executed the plea deal for perjury agreements and oversaw the prosecution of Dr. Rottschaefer.

    So, when the US Courts will not even align rulings to one another or the law itself, how can we as people trust in the faith of the courts?

  • Alexander DeLuca||

    Re: Rottschaefer documents (through 2nd appeal)...

    War on Pain Sufferers special collection #14:

    "The Sex for Drugs" Trials of Dr. Bernard Rottschaefer"

    ..alex...

  • ||

    Actually, the complete motions and proceedings on the Rottschaefer trial are on the Pain Relief Network. The url is below:

    http://www.painreliefnetwork.org/in-the-spotlight/bernard-rottschaefer/

    Rottschaefer's trial has sparked two separate appeal motions (with multiple appeal issues enclosed) and two separate motions for new trial involving newly discovered evidence

  • ||

    Radley and others,

    After reading the responses from Daniel, I am left with the opinion that perhaps he either wrote or knows who wrote the opinion within this case. The dirty secret in the federal judicial circles is that clerks, with limited to no concrete understanding of the law, write the majority of briefs that the court signs off on. I suggest all read the book entitled The Chambermaid which is based on one of the judges who signed off on this current appeal opinion.

    In this case, the court could have acted. The issue was whether the court found the new evidence in the form of all patient prosecution witnesses recanting their testimonies in the criminal trial of Dr. Rottschaefer in civil depositions was exculpatory in nature. The court can do this under SAADA; because even the court does not wish to have innocent people that can prove their innocence held in jail.

    In a simplified view, what Daniel argues is flat wrong. He basically says that lets say a jury found someone guilty of homicide and then in an appeal this guilty party provides the court information that not only did the murder not occur, but also that the alleged murder victim is alive and well and has volunteered to give the court a statement of such under oath to the court. In Daniel's world, such a verdict can not be challenged because the jury in the original trial ruled a homicide occurred and the appeals court can not reverse the trial on issues of fact such as the fact the murder victim is alive.

    That is how absurd the Rottschaefer case is. Dr. Rottschaefer is charged with prescribing legally approved medications that contain controlled substances which the jury determined were not for a legitimate medical purpose. Now Dr. Rottschaefer has provided the court with evidence that demonstrates without a shadow of a doubt that the medications were issued for a legitimate medical purpose. The courts says as much when it writes in this opinion that "the recent deposition testimony of his former patients proves that some of them had been suffering from medical conditions that merited the treatment that he provided."

    So how is someone still guilty when he/she proves his innocence? Well in this case, the court relies on slander presented in trial by the prosecution and its witnesses that it (the prosecution) even admits were not decided upon by the jury to be fact. In the first appeal of Dr. Rottschaefer, the prosecution said while they alleged that the medications were written in exchange for sex, they did not have to prove this claim in the court of law. The prosecution argues that they only had to show that the OxyContin was not prescribed for a legitimate medical purpose.

    This statement was of course issued when the prosecution was presented overwhelming evidence that their witnesses fabricated the sex allegations to secure plea agreements and the evidence that the patients did have a medical need for the the medications was still hidden from the defense team. So with their backs against the wall, the prosecution disavowed that the conviction had anything to do with the alleged sex for drugs motive so that the conviction could be upheld and so they did not have to revoke the plea agreements with the witnesses.

    Could you imagine what would happen if the prosecution revoked the plea agreements? All the witnesses would have to say is that the prosecution knew (or perhaps) told them to lie under oath in exchange for the plea agreements. Facts concealed from the defense such as the fact that these witnesses continued to be diagnosed with the same medical ailments and receive the same medications during Dr. Rottschaefer's trial where these witnesses claimed not to have the medical ailments or a need for the medications would take on such a sinister aspect. I mean while Dr. Rottschaefer would have been barred due to HIPPIA from reviewing these former patients' current medical records, the prosecution in Dr. Rottschaefer's case would not have been, and I imagine the good public would find it difficult to believe that the prosecution would not have reviewed these medical records in preparation for this case.

    So, I guess I see why the prosecution is pushing to hold the conviction and the plea agreements. What I do not understand is why the court is supporting/facilitating these illegal actions. I'm starting to think after reading responses from individuals such as Daniel that the court is doing so because it is both apparently lazy and incompetent at the same time.

    Perhaps it is time that we require judges be reappointed ever so many years. Perhaps under such a move, we would not get the career slack ass and/or f-up like we receive in this opinion.

    To Daniel, if you wrote the opinion please either learn the law or get out of the law profession. If you know who wrote the opinion, express these sentiments to this individual. Realize that not only a lack of an understanding or the law, but also sheer examples of laziness by not reviewing the briefs in this case have cost an innocent man his freedom. Our nation deserves better. I just hope that the wrong the court has committed on Dr. Rottschaefer is not revisited on others, but with people such as Daniel trying to shift blame to other bodies such as Congress, I doubt that my hope is a sound one.

  • ||

    Radley and others,

    After reading the two opinions as well as an article in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, it is clear to me that the rulings contradict themselves in relation to the court's definition of guilt.

    I hope that this error is due to laziness on the part of the judge panel in reviewing the previous rulings and the evidence presented in the motions. At least such an action would/could be more palpable than this issue being caused by a lack of understanding of the law on the part of the court panel.

    Either way, the third circuit judges, screwed up on this one. Either Judge Stapleton is right that prescribing for a legitimate medical reason is not controlling to the conviction only the sex allegations are controlling or Judge Rendell is right that prescribing for a legitimate medical reason is controlling and the sex is not relevant to the decision of guilty by the jury.

    In either case, Dr. Rottschaefer's legal team has provided more than enough evidence to demonstrate that both of the alleged theories of guilt, Stapleton's and Rendell's, are not held under the weight of the evidence.

    But oh well, this court seemed to have no problem with the overwhelming proof of massive amounts of perjury on the part of the prosecution witnesses, so why would they in turn care about stealing the life out of an innocent man.

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