Skip to comments.A Painful Sentence: The Problem With Pain Medications
Posted on 07/08/2006 11:27:44 AM PDT by JTN
Video news story about a young woman who faces a 25 year mandatory minimum sentence for drug trafficking. The drugs were prescription drugs (the prescription was for her mother, who had recently passed away) and none were sold.
Note: I couldn't get the video to play in a Firefox tab, but it played fine using the IE Tab extension.
(Excerpt) Read more at cbs4.com ...
I just watched that whole video ...and I'm speechless. WHAT IS WRONG WITH OUR SYSTEM? I defy anyone to defend this. As I am married to a man with chronic pain, I would fight to the death his right to get the pain medication he needs...this is so outrageous. Is there anyway to help with the defense of this woman?
that is BS! the woman had just lost her mother, she had agravated back pain from lifting her sick mother, and she gets all this because of left over pain pills from her mother!?? she wasn't even trafficking!
This is one of the most insane stories I've seen. Did you see the one of the guy in the wheelchair??? THEY GIVE HIM MORPHINE in jail now. UNFREAKINGBELIEVABLE. This is not the America we're fighting for. Sorry,.
Is there anyway to help with the defense of this woman?
I haven't found one yet, but I'm looking.
Any link to a text story. I can't get the video to play.
When my parents were in hospice care, this was the procedure when they died...the nurse would take all the pain medication (worth maybe hundreds and hundreds of dollars) and stand there while she watches you flush it down the toilet. I experienced this in both California and in Arizona.
I hope some good lawyer out there does a good deed and helps this woman... it is ridiculous. A terrorists has more rights than this woman!
The irony of the Richard Paey story (click the "richardpaey" keyword for this article for more on him) is that the government justifies its prosecution of him for trafficking on the grounds that he could not possibly have been taking all of the pills he was obtaining, but he now receives higher doses in prison.
You might find this interesting (((PING)))
He went to jail because if he took the plea bargain, he'd be labeled a drug trafficer and he'd never be able to get the pain medication he needs. So he has to leave his family and his job so the government now takes care of him and pays for the medication he needs. How insane is that?
My neighbor was arrested and charged with a class D felony because she had two Vicodin tablets (which were legally prescibed to her)in a pill bottle without the prescription on it.
She was searched after being stopped for speeding.
This happened in Indiana.
The DEA has gone way over the top and are keeping doctors from prescribibg NEEDED pain medications.
But heroin is purer and cheaper than it has ever been.
Here is the text from the story;
The Trouble With Painkillers
Did you know that just possessing six pills of a prescription painkiller that doesnt belong to you can land you in jail for years? Some are facing a 25-year long prison nightmare in Florida and throughout the United States because of the way the law is written.
Penny Spences fate changed after she accidentally crashed her car into a tree in Coral Springs last year. She wasnt under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but she had one thing that can land her in jail for 25-years. Police found 49 1/2 pills of the prescription generic equivalent of Percocet that used to belong to her mother.
Spence was dealing with the recent death of her mother, who suffered from Lou Gehrigs Disease. Spence told CBS4s Jennifer Santiago that she was her mothers caretaker in her last year of life and often times had to lift the 130 lb. woman on her own, worsening a pre-existent back condition. Her mother was completely paralyzed. She says she was tired and in pain at the time of the accident.
What many like Spence dont know is that with just six prescriptions pain killers, such as Percocet, allow prosecutors to charge you with trafficking under the states mandatory minimum drug law. Just 28 grams of the painkiller is enough to serve a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in jail.
She was originally charged with possession by police, but later prosecutors upped her charges to drug trafficking.
Trafficking is definitely not a bottle of moms pill, said Spence as she sobbed.
Penny admits that she always carried her mothers pain pills on her and at times would take some when her back pain would become unbearable. The aspiring nurse never imagined the life-changing consequences of having such pills on her.
The law works against those who are in Spences shoes, because in Florida statutes theres no need for law enforcement to prove you were actually trafficking the pills. There is no need to prove what you were using the pills for. The statutes rely on the amount the pills you have weigh to charge you with trafficking.
Under Floridas mandatory minimum drug laws, just 28 grams of a prescription pain killer carries a sentence of 25 years. Possession of the same amount of cocaine only gets you a mandatory three year sentence. What is ironic is that Percocet contains a large amount of acetaminophen, the ingredient found in Tylenol, but that does not factor in when authorities weigh in the amount of pills that are found on a suspect.
I wish I had a dollar for every time Ive spoken to a parent or a family member who said, I didnt know this could happen in America, said Robert Batey.
Batey is a law professor and president of the Tampa Bay Chapter of Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM), a DC organization dedicated to ridding the country of such laws. Though the group has had luck in pushing for such laws to be removed from several states, Florida has not been one of them.
Richard Paey, a lawyer with an Ivy League education has already fallen a victim of these statutes. He is serving a 25 year sentence at a Florida prison for having pain pills prescribed by a doctor in another state. The lawyer and family man is paralyzed from the waist down and also suffers severe back pains - the reason why he takes the pain medication. Most doctors in Florida feared prescribing the large amount of pain medication Paey required to alleviate his pain. He was convicted on 15 counts of drug trafficking.
To add insult to injury, the jail's medical staff where he is at administers him a much stronger dose of morphine on a daily basis than any dose of medication he ever consumed in the past.
My experience is with my step-mother. She was sent home for hospice, and passed away. The hospice attendants had to witness the destruction of ALL pain meds. Every person and congresscritter that supports the War on some Drugs is part and parcel to this travesty. One single tablet, capsule, patch, or vial on the premises will result in a felony conviction for anyone and everyone on the premises. It is all about control of other people. It is a crying shame, since the people that impose the laws and restrictions have never suffered real pain.
"This is a case where if the facts presented here are the one's I heard in court, jury nullification would be the order of the day."
Actually, I have the feeling with the publicity, this woman will probably get off in some way.
The onus, however, is on the Florida legislature. Part of the problem with the law like this. It is obviously absurd as written and could be rewritten to eliminate this gross absurdity. But with the drug law hysteria died down somewhat, the Legislature doesn't want to pass even a less absurd version of this law---which would still be absurd in many ways. On the other hand, they don't have the nerve to throw out the mandatory sentences altogether.
I wouldn't count on it. Richard Paey is still in prison, and his story has been on 60 Minutes and written up in the National Review and the New York Times.
WHAT IS WRONG WITH OUR SYSTEM?
It's all about governmental control over every aspect of out lives. Consider this-Just about anything you do, or don't do, is a crime, and more are becoming federal offenses.
I have thanked the Good Lord many times that we never retired in Florida. What a screwed up state! Lets see, they kill helpless patients by starvation and dehydration, e.g. Terri Schiavo; they can't read a voting ballot or count the voting results correctly without have many re-counts; they go after Rush Limbaugh for using pain medication and strive to get access to his personal medical records, and now this with no proof that this woman was selling anything. May God protect her against the state.
Though she didn't sell them, chances were real good she was "sharing" them.
There is a real epidemic in this country right now that many people are unaware of; it's addiction to pain pills (like Oxycontin) and muscle relaxers (like Somas). 75% of this new breed of "addicts" are women; many of them your everyday stay at home moms and homemaker.
Please see my Post #22.
If what you describe is "epidemic", then what is the current state of alcohol abuse in this country?
Sorry, but I guess I disagree, non-violent addicts don't need prison, they need rehab.
Great to see that you are on board to condemn and criticize. No presumption of innocence needed. Since some food products and herbal remedies alleviate pain, you need to get hopping on restricting, limiting, outlawing, and determining the appropriate amount that everyone- except YOU- can have in their possession. Pardon me, your attitude stinks. May you and your loved ones experience relentless pain and suffering. All you need to do is go and beg permission for medication. It should only take a few years, so buck up. It is all in your mind, better to go see a shrink and get some legal psychotropics.
Why do you say she was "SHARING" them when there's absolutely no proof of that. She was using them for her back.
And I know very well about the PAIN pill "EPIDEMIC." But this is absurd...and you know it. 25 year Mandatory sentence for what she had? First offense? Even if she were selling them openly, it woul be absurd.
I officially call BS. Back it up with a link from a .gov or .org. Not holding my breath.....
The prosecutors are evil.
If ever there was an example of yellow journalism whipping up public hysteria, the Drug War is it, and these rubes have fallen for it, hook, line and sinker.
Do you realize that people who suffer from chronic, incurable pain, will develop a tolerance for these meds?
When that happens, they are apparently criminals in the government's eyes. Stay at home moms, desk jockeys, judges, you name it. There is an addict that needs to be punished! /sarc
"Sorry, but I guess I disagree, non-violent addicts don't need prison, they need rehab."
I don't recall saying they needed to go to prison. I'm just trying to shed some light on this thing from law enforcement perspective. They may be non-violent but you, apparently, have no idea the pain and suffering prescription drug abuse causes families in this nation every day. It's an epidemic my friend. Just because alcohol abuse is wide spread doesn't make it right to become a 'scrip freak.
You need to read my latest post #35 on this subject.
First of all, I was not condemning or criticizing. I was stating a fact. The comment you made:
"May you and your loved ones experience relentless pain and suffering...."
tells me one of two things: Either 1. You are in need of some intense therapy or 2. You're a 'scrip freak yourself.
Either way, you must be a miserably unhappy person.
"I wouldn't count on it. Richard Paey is still in prison, and his story has been on 60 Minutes and written up in the National Review and the New York Times."
Point taken. The difference is, she has not been convicted yet.
Once a person is convicted, the system will fight a death struggle to prevent them being released. You've probably noticed that only recently, after many years, have prosecutors stopped fighting against allowing old semen samples to be tested for DNA in rape convictions. Finally, DA's offices are starting to give up this practice of hanging onto these old convictions---even when they are provably false. The reason is incredibly enough, people in prosecutors offices feel that their careers are more important than keeping an innocent person in jail.
You didn't read what I said. I said: "chances were..."
All 'scrip freaks, supposedly, have "pain" in their back or somewhere. That's how they get their drugs.
SO..you're saying nobody has back pain? This woman now gets pills...from her Dr...double the dosage for her pain. There's a fine line. Do you think this woman should go to jail for 25 years based on this story?
So does alcohol. Should that be make illegal...again?
I've got a feeling that the arresting law enforcement officers and the court knows more about this case than we do just from reading a few lines on a website thread.
I'm through discussing this. But, it's nice to know that my original comment was proven to have hit a nerve by the ungodly, hate spewing, vitriolic, comments I received.
MADE MY DAY!!!
Why is it that whenever somebody disagrees with certain people at FR, they're UNGODLY. That's so assinine. Yea, Go would want someone with unbearable back pain to go to jail for 25 years. Yea...that's it.
Dear God; what's wrong with you people? Can't you read? I never suggested making pain pills illegal. Nor does alcohol have to be made "illegal"; it just has to be used legally and morally; same goes for barbituates.
From a personal standpoint, it wouldn't bother me if alcohol was made illegal. I don't drink alcohol so I don't give a rat's butt.
Man, you people need to read a person's post before you get all wild-eyed and crazy.
You never answered my question..do you think this woman should get 25 years for the "crime" in question?
Did you read what ARealMothersSonForever said to me? You don't think that was ungodly?
You people have a real problem.
Read the first sentence of my Post #41. You need to chill out.
Unless I missed something..you stated a statistic and she asked for proof. What's unGodly about that? BTW, if you talk about another Freeper, it's the rule to ping them.
BTW, I'm signing off now; no use trying to have an intelligent dialog with you people.
No, I don't need to "chill out"..the last refuge of a scoundrel. You need to lighten up and look at real life.
So you're saying you've lost...at least you know.