Mar 14, 2007

WTF! Mandatory Sentencing

While mandatory sentencing may provide consistency in sentencing this is just bullshit! So, yeah the guy broke the law by forging prescriptions, but, if ever there was a case for mitigating circumstance, this is it:
Florida's Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from Richard Paey, a wheelchair-using father of three who is currently serving a 25-year mandatory prison sentence for taking his own pain medication.
Richard 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. The Ivy-league educated attorney has no prior criminal convictions, and weeks of surveillance by narcotics agents did not find him selling the medications.
In a jeremiad of a dissent, Judge James Seals called the sentence "illogical, absurd, unjust and unconstitutional," noting that Paey "could conceivably go to prison for a longer stretch for peacefully but unlawfully purchasing 100 oxycodone pills from a pharmacist than had he robbed the pharmacist at knife point, stolen 50 oxycodone pills, which he intended to sell to children waiting outside, and then stabbed the pharmacist."
Obviously, (or not) this isn't some guy that did this out of any criminal intent. He didn't get the drugs for any reason other than to get some relief from his intense and agaoninzing pain. Surely he doesn't deserve to go to prison for 25 years, where, by the way, he is now receives virtually twice as much morphine in prison than the equivalent in opioid medications for which he was convicted of forging prescriptions.
Where Florida stands now is that individuals have no recourse to the courts when the executive and legislative branches behave tyranically." Under the Constitution, the role of the judiciary is supposed to be to check the powers of the other branches -- not simply to defer to them.
What do you think of Mandatory Sentencing? Do you think Justice is served in this case?

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Romain Levesque said...

Thats crazy! This whole system of government is just spiraling out of control. All branches of it.
Health and Prosperity,

Carol said...

I know Roamin, it is just insane. I have read and heard stories worse than this but 25 years in prison with no criminal history and the poor guy sounds like he's been to hell and back with his injuries. This is ludicrous!

chaseng said...

Problem is that neither the law nor the police distinguish problem users from other user, and the vast majority of users are 'other' users. If we went after the problem users, as we sometimes do against DUI drivers, Paey would be at home, not in Florida prison system for the next 22 years, if he lives that long.

Carol said...

That's one way to look at it. The problem, as I see it, is the Mandatory Sentencing. It doesn't leave any room for the Judge to make exceptions. Although in this case, it doesn't appear that the Judge was looking for a way out for this man. Thanks for the visit and the comment. Hope to hear more from you!