Second Hurwitz Trial


The Drug Policy Alliance reports that the retrial of Virginia pain doctor William Hurwitz is scheduled to begin today. The first time around, Hurwitz was convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to 25 years in federal prison. But last August the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit overturned his conviction, finding that the judge had erred by refusing to let the jury consider whether Hurwitz had acted in good faith when prescribing painkillers to his patients, some of whom turned out to be addicts and/or drug dealers. The case is being watched closely by physicians, who were alarmed by the government's position that trusting your patients too much is a felony, regardless of intent, and by pain patients, who suffer whenever the government discourages doctors from prescribing narcotics.