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.
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