Drug Policy

Some Good News for Richard Paey


Here's some good news for Richard Paey, the Florida man who is serving a 25-year mandatory minimum sentence for "drug trafficking" based on narcotics he obtained to treat his chronic pain: The Florida Parole Commission has recommended that Gov. Charlie Crist consider Paey's clemency petition even though he has not yet served a third of his sentence, as usually required. The rule can be waived when an application "demonstrates extraordinary merit." In appealing to Crist, Paey is taking the course recommended by the Florida appeals court that last year said only the governor could correct this injustice. 

Here is a PDF of Paey's clemency petition. The Pain Relief Network has contact information for Crist (scroll down). "Keep those cards and letters coming in support of Richard's clemency petition," says Paey's lawyer, John P. Flannery. "They are being read and carefully considered by the Office of Executive Clemency."

NEXT: Atlanta Police Rediscover the Book

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Thank Goodness for small favors. I kept have this reocurring nightmare that Richard Paey would continue to rot in prison for the crime of being disabled and self-medicating while violent criminals and politically-connected figures like Scooter Libby are the beneficiaries of parole and pardons.

    Let’s keep our fingers crossed. Also, it might not be bad to send the dude a few letters while he’s in the Big House in order to keep his spirits up. I must remember to look up his contact info.

  2. Uhmm, this may not be such great news;

    What happens when he gets out of prison? Will he have immunity from prosecution for future drug offenses? How is he going to find a doctor willing to prescribe narcotics to him in the face of a vindictive DEA?

    Honestly, a pardon, while great, is not sufficient.

  3. Paey is taking the course recommended by the Florida appeals court that last year said only the governor could correct this injustice.

    Is the Florida appeals court run by Eichmann? God forbid any judge put his job on the line, best to just send people to the chambers than actually stop the inhumanity.

  4. tarran,
    Right, this is one of those, ‘gee I hope this goes from unconscionable to merely unacceptable’ situations.

  5. tarran,

    I suppose he could move to a Medical Marijuana state and just use dope all the time.

    I can’t believe the government doesn’t have anything better to do than to prosecute sick people all the time. What ever happened to violent crime?

  6. Isn’t he actually getting medicated, with costs born by the state, while he’s in prison? As far as his pain situation, being taken out of prison might actually be a bad thing.

  7. crimethink,
    Yeah, from a pain point of view it would probably end up being worse as no doctor is actually going to get involved with Paey now, at least not in Florida. Personally, I’d rather die a free man than live a comfortable life in prison, but to each their own I guess.

  8. I can’t believe the government doesn’t have anything better to do than to prosecute sick people all the time. What ever happened to violent crime?

    If they go after violent criminals, the cops run the risk of being injured. And from what I gathered, guaranteeing the safety of their officers is the #1 priority of police forces.

    It’s not as if these cops signed on to a job that is inherently risky or anything.

  9. Jacob,
    I’ve been waiting for this subject to come up again.
    Recently I was Googling to locate an old buddy from college. Seems his sister is the wife of the judge in Florida who gave the dissenting opinion in Paey’s trial. I had actually had a “date” with this woman long before she met the future judge. She helped me locate her brother. Anyway, I asked her to compliment her husband on the dissenting opinion, and she confirmed she did. I told her my “hobby” is trying to end the War on Drugs.
    I hope to have a meet-up in San Francisco this fall with her brother.

  10. I’ve been following his case for a while, having been convicted, and serving 11 months of a 2-to-4 year sentence that had been commuted to a 3-month rehab bootcamp which I was later deemed unfit for (long story, but it was their call after the deal was cut). Here’s wishing him the best-personally, I think he was given those prescriptions y his former doctor, after being told he’d be ‘on his own’ if law enforcement got involved).But, let’s hope this travesty is put right!

  11. I think that now that he has a morphine pump implanted, it shouldn’t be too hard for him to get refills.

  12. I’ve been close to the Paey case since before his 3rd trial, and want him home. But I’m conflicted.

    Sending him home will let the FL legislature off the hook; they won’t bother to fix the law that allowed the prosecutor to send him to prison for 25 years, no parole, and pay $500,000 fine.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.