Another 'Drug Trafficker' Who Isn't

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Last week I wrote that if the jurors who heard the drug trafficking case against Virginia pain doctor William Hurwitz "remember what their job is, they will acquit him." They didn't. As in the case of Florida pain patient Richard Paey, the crusade against diversion of narcotics has led to the conviction of a "drug trafficker" who plainly isn't.

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  1. Sometimes, I hate being right.

  2. Oh…

    This has big problems written all over it.

  3. May the prosecutor/DEA agents/informants be stricken with intractable pain, with no hope of relief but for massive amounts of opiates.

  4. Fucking bastards.

    What a way to start my day.

  5. Now, are we finally winning the Drug War?

  6. Now, are we finally winning the Drug War?

    Only if we get the death penalty for “drug kingpins” like Hurwitz.

  7. If I were in Hurwitz’s shoes I wouldn’t go without a fight. People need to know about these things.

  8. Warren:

    Pass it along, dude.

    “Marvin D. Miller, an attorney for Hurwitz, said the verdict was “disheartening” and that “the American people are suffering because law enforcement is taking over the practice of medicine.””

    Let the Age of Pain begin..

  9. God wants us to suffer. We are miserable sinners, and pain is our just punishment.

  10. You know, if I was a prosecutor, I’d think twice about pissing off people with terminal diseases that cause excruciating pain. They don’t have much to lose…

  11. Comes-around, your curse is meaningless since the DEA has all the drugs they want.

  12. From the Island of Doctor Moreau:

    “Are you the one I met on the beach?” I asked.

    “The same, Master.”

    The Thing was evidently faithful enough, for it might have fallen upon me as I slept.”It is well,” I said, extending my hand for another licking kiss. I began to realise what its presence meant, and the tide of my courage flowed. “Where are the others?” I asked.

    “They are mad; they are fools,” said the Dog-man. “Even now they talk together beyond there. They say, `The Master is dead. The Other with the Whip is dead. That Other who walked in the Sea is as we are. We have no Master, no Whips, no House of Pain, any more. There is an end. We love the Law, and will keep it; but there is no Pain, no Master, no Whips for ever again.’ So they say. But I know, Master, I know.”

    I felt in the darkness, and patted the Dog-man’s head. “It is well,” I said again.

    “Presently you will slay them all,” said the Dog-man.

  13. Comes-around, your curse is meaningless since the DEA has all the drugs they want.

    But the jury doesn’t, and they’re just as much to blame, so curse them instead.

  14. just waiting for those who’ll give the old martha stewart to this doc, too: “he’s done wrong and needs to be punished” “you libertoids wanna let a criminal go free” and stuff like that.

    i’ll greet your messages right now: go fuck yourselves.

    merry fucking christmas,
    drf

  15. Why can’t we hold the jurors accountable? Who are they? What are their names?

  16. Merry fucking Christmas, everyone! šŸ˜‰

  17. So did the jury come to this conclusion by listening only to Mr. Mackie? “uhh, Drugs are bad, mmmkay?”

    Now it is true that I didn’t hear all the evidence. But even reports like that one don’t say there was anything but a ‘he said / she said’ style of evidence for him being a drug trafficker. Did any of the witnesses for the state come out and say ‘yeah, he wrote me a big prescription that he knew I was just going to resell because he knew I didn’t have any pain’? From earlier reports, some witnesses said they thought he was a nice guy that they duped. Was that the evidence used to convict him, that he might have suspected, and should have known better? Wouldn’t that mean that any victim of a con job would be guilty of ‘conspiracy to defraud’? I really haven’t seen enough people coming out and saying ‘yeah, he knew all about it, here’s the proof’ to convict him. And let me guess about the character of the prosecution’s witnesses: They’re the guys who were actually caught selling the pills? They turned state’s evidence to get lower charges on themselves? And they’re admitted criminals? That really moves them up my credibility list.

  18. On the twelth day of Christmas my true love gave to me:

    12 DEA agents with back injuries
    11 judges with colon cancer
    10 cops with glaucoma
    9 informants with sickle cell
    8 Senators on chemo

    Somebody help me fill out the rest.

  19. Everyone here should chill.
    Everyone outside here equates addiction with terrorism. That starts with “t,” and that rhymes with “p,” and that stands for punishment.

  20. I was serving on a grand jury five years ago when a local doctor was brought up on charges. But he wasn’t innocent – he was selling oxycontin scripts for $100 apiece. Had him on tape during a routine diagnosis – asking “Where does it hurt?” and that’s about it. People would line up outside his office for hours waiting to get in, driving in from all over KY. Got a lot of people’s attention, to say the least. When they raided his house they found a half-million in cash hidden in the basement.

    All fine and good. People like that need to be prosecuted and medical licenses taken away, etc. But I disagreed on the DA and police tactics on busting the guy. Basically, they set him up on a sting operation. A patient, actually an undercover cop, arranged to sell him, get this, an M-16. They met at a hotel and when he agreed to buy it, he was busted. They used that to get a search warrant for his house and office – seized records and the money. End result – they dropped the charges on the gun, he plead down, spent 4 months in jail, lost his license – police kept the money.

    I don’t know what I’m trying to say – only that there are bad people abusing the system – and all of us would be better served if those were the people the prosecutors would go after.

  21. The only thing surprising about this decision is the shock being voiced here. Surely people were not silly enough to anticipate another outcome.
    It may be the case that we, as libertarians, are right(I think so). The fact is, however, that trying to resist ever-spreading statism and people’s undending desire to impose their will on others is like trying to stop a wind storm by screaming into to it. You may feel better, but the effort is futile.
    Am I saying it’s hopeless? Yes, I am.

  22. lariat,
    Government should not be in the vice business.
    Vice is a personal thing.

  23. lariat – bad people abusing the system? Like the cops and the DA?

    It’s all about money, that’s the problem.

    And Misanthrope, you’re right, I’m not shocked, just extremely disturbed and disappointed.

  24. I don’t know the details of the trial, but I would not be so quick to blame the jury. One must keep in mind that jurors only hear the facts and interpretation of the law that the judge allows them to hear, and this can strongly bias their decision towards conviction. For example, in a California medical marijuana case a year or so ago, the jurors said that if they had known all the things about the case that they learned afterwards, they wouldn’t have voted to convict.

  25. Now, now lil’ Missy Anne Thrope, don’t despair! Why, Armageddon is just around the bend. Jes’ you looky, over yonder, there she be!

  26. What is most unfortunate about our system is that when you’re facing more than 60 charges, stemming from an inordinately large volume of laws, all of which are based on the fallacious premise that the government has the knowledge, authority, or cause to make such medical decisions, reasonable doubt becomes an illusion. The reasonable doubt we speak of here is the rational notion that a politician is no more suited to make determinations of medical necessity in pain management than your average plumber would be to do your taxes. You can only marginally trust your own doctor to make decisions with your needs at the forefront, and not those of his practice or the insurance company whose salad he’s tossing. What does that say for how far you can trust your average politician?

    The law is effectively, “whatever DEA and co. say is criminally excessive, is such,” and it has the blessing of Congress. Their “pamphlet” was retracted as soon as it was evident it scuttled their case. The government set up a situation where there was no such thing as reasonable doubt; the court played along. For that I hope everyone involved in this trial, from the prosecution to the judge to every juror, is stricken by the most severe fibromyalgia ever conceived by god or man.

  27. Fred- Cute, but what’s your point? Did you have a substantive comment to offer, or just empty snark?

  28. If you look at the post a couple of weeks ago Misanthrope, it’s fairly clear that most here knew what was going to happen. Of course that doesn’t make it any less dissapointing that it actually happened. Is there some way that we can all chip in to sponsor a legal team to argue that drug use shouldn’t be illegal in the first place, by defending someone caught in simple posession? I’d donate to that cause.

  29. Ruthless:
    That starts with “t,” and that rhymes with “p,” and that stands for punishment.

    Guffaw. (I assume that’s to be sung in a Lionel Hutz voice; it is in my head anyway.)

  30. One must keep in mind that jurors only hear the facts and interpretation of the law that the judge allows them to hear

    True, but they’re supposed to be equipped with conscience and reason as well; otherwise, why not just have the cases decided by the judge?

    There are days when I’m not sure whether I’d rather have my fate in control of a bureaucrat or the average jury. (The preferable answer being “neither” of course, and the scarier answer being “both”.)

  31. and this is surprising because…?

  32. “Is there some way that we can all chip in to sponsor a legal team to argue that drug use shouldn’t be illegal in the first place, by defending someone caught in simple posession?”

    I’m sure that defense would not be permitted.

    If you want to donate give to the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) or NORML or both, if you don’t already. While both concentrate on the legalization of Marijuana it’s a necessary first step IMO.

    Also consider the Drug Policy Alliance.

    http://www.drugpolicy.org/
    http://www.mpp.org/
    http://www.norml.org/

  33. “Now, now lil’ Missy Anne Thrope, don’t despair! Why, Armageddon is just around the bend. Jes’ you looky, over yonder, there she be!”

    Hopefully.

  34. God bless us, every motherfucking one!

    How ’bout a letter writing campaign to Mark Warner, asking for clemency?

  35. “How ’bout a letter writing campaign to Mark Warner, asking for clemency?”

    Since it was a federal, not a state, conviction, Gov. Warner has no authority to grant clemency. You want to be writing those cards and letters to Dubya. Lotsa luck.

  36. 12 DEA agents with back injuries
    11 judges with colon cancer
    10 cops with glaucoma
    9 informants with sickle cell
    8 Senators on chemo

    ……………………….
    7 terminally sclerotic representatives
    6 post-op NIDA administrators

    5 naaaaaaaarcs in sliiiiiiiings

    4 ONDCP wonks with postherpetic neuralgia
    3 FBI agents with clubfoot
    2 Joint Chiefs with Arthritis

    And a President with intractable Migraines

  37. I sorta wonder how federal courts deal with this.

    A similar case in my very conservative county in California started with the doctor indicted for multiple counts of murder and ended several years later with the judge dismissing the manslaughter charges and the jury acquitting him of misdemeanor Medi-Cal fraud.

    He had a great lawyer, though.

  38. True, but they’re supposed to be equipped with conscience and reason as well;

    People saddled with the “conscience and reason” baggage probably don’t make it past jury selection.

  39. I hate the DEA as much as the next guy but why isn’t any anger being directed at the “patient-informants”?

    In my opinion, they’re no less culpable.

    I covered a story in 2002 about a North Carolina physician in a similar situtation and it was the same story—a bunch of ruthless “pillies” were gaming the system and all-too-willing to throw a dedicated, competent physician under the bus to save their own necks.

    I swear, the DEA must have a scumbag database to find these people.

  40. “If you want to donate give to the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) or NORML or both, if you don’t already. While both concentrate on the legalization of Marijuana it’s a necessary first step IMO.”

    This may be a dumb question, but is there a way to donate money anonymously? I don’t want to get on any mailing list, purely because I can see the jackboots getting their hands on it. If one sends cash or a money order, is it a safe bet that it will go to the right people, and not in some volunteer’s pocket?

  41. I swear, the DEA must have a scumbag database to find these people.

    I think that database is actually what their HR department uses for hiring.

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