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Dr. Frank's What's-it: Comment on Don't be a paraplegic with MS in Florida
Comments: Don't be a paraplegic with MS in Florida

"He was taking advantage of a sweeping law to punish a man he thought was an addict"---excerpt from the Balko's piece in Reason.

Balko was far too charitable to Andringa in the Reason article, because no evidence existed (even circumstantial) to indicate to Andringa that Paey was a drug addict. I have worked in the court systems, where win percentage quotas are bragged about by attorneys on both sides, and no doubt inserted onto their resumes. Andringa simply wanted another career notch on his belt, which is why in my opinion, he didn't care on way or another whether Paey was a habitual drug user.

Posted by David at January 3, 2011 07:47 PM

...NOT that I am in favor of locking up - or punishing in any way - people for merely using, even if they are an addict.

Posted by David at January 3, 2011 07:55 PM

I'm sure you're right that he didn't care (and I'm with you on your second point too, of course.) It is galling that his bio boasts of his participation in the "controversial drug trafficking case that was later profiled on 60 Minutes, NIghtline, and in the New York Times" whilst failing to mention that he is, in fact, the villain of the stories!

Posted by Dr. Frank at January 3, 2011 08:01 PM

Yeah, he has some gall trying to get away with that stuff in his campaign. I have no way of knowing, but I hope Paey has sued, or that he finds a way to sue, the prosecutors/state over this. Assuming of course, with regard to the latter, that the statute of limitations hasn't run out (which it probably has). At least press on with an appeal of the initial verdict, have his name full cleared (since accepting a pardon does not legally absolve one of a crime...but if I am a man with the kind of dire medical problems as Paey facing 25 years in a prison, I accept the pardon as well). Once his name is cleared, he would be able to immediately file a lawsuit for wrongful conviction and abuse of prosecutorial power.

Posted by David at January 4, 2011 02:11 AM

I would also add that this story makes me think twice about ever wanting to visit or vacation in Florida, much less live there. I take some prescribed medications for my rheumatoid arthritis (not to compare occasional pain to Paey's....MS AND a "botched back surgery?" My God..), and at times throughout the years have been prescribed pain killers. I can picture myself being pulled from a hotel room or a rental car and being thrown into a SWAT car for possession of painkillers. Florida won't be getting my tourism cash.

Posted by David at January 4, 2011 02:29 AM

Who is the judge that found Paey guilty in the first place? That's even more maddening. And why put him in solitary confinement? Jesus. It sure does look like this Adringa wanted another victory notch rather than anything resembling justice of "the system". I'm with you, David, I hope Paey does get revenge.

It's somewhat reminiscent of the stunt Bill Lockyer tried to pull when he was California's district attorney back in '99 -- when he raced into Anderson,CA screaming bloody murder after several people overdosed on oxycontin. Fortunately, the county judge aquitted
the prescribing doctor involved, even though the doctor's reputation was shot. And Lockyear is now in his second term as State Treasurer. Screwy stuff.

Posted by Jason S. at January 4, 2011 02:48 AM

On the other hand, Florida does have a messy drug abuse sub-culture. The website Current has a grueling documentary on oxycontin addiction:

http://current.com/shows/vanguard/91183979_the-oxycontin-express.htm

Posted by Jason S. at January 4, 2011 02:57 AM

Whoops...Lockyer was the Attorney General, not the DA.

Posted by Jason S. at January 4, 2011 05:14 AM

It was a *jury* that found him guilty. I'm stupid.

But still, Adringa touts his mistake like it was a good thing. That's not cool.

Posted by Jason S. at January 4, 2011 02:41 PM