Florida Supreme Court Declines to Review Richard Paey's Sentence


On Friday the Florida Supreme Court declined to hear Richard Paey's appeal of the 25-year sentence he received for "drug trafficking," which in his case amounted to obtaining narcotics for the treatment of his own severe chronic pain with prescriptions his doctor denied writing after they became the subject of a police investigation. Reason contributor Maia Szalavitz notes at The Huffington Post that "Paey—who suffers both multiple sclerosis and from the aftermath of a disastrous and barbaric back surgery that resulted in multiple major malpractice judgments—now receives virtually twice as much morphine in prison than the equivalent in opioid medications for which he was convicted of forging prescriptions." In the decision the state Supreme Court refused to review, a Florida appeals court nevertheless ruled that his sentence was not "grossly disprortionate" enough to violate the constitutional ban on "cruel and unusual punishments." At the same time, the court urged Paey to seek clemency from the governor as a remedy for a sentence that a dissenting judge called "illogical, absurd, unjust, and unconstitutional." That, aside from an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, seems to be the only recourse still open to him.

The Pain Relief Network has information on the case, including how to contact Gov. Charlie Crist, here. My columns on the case are here, here, and here.