I'm as angry as I've been in a long time over this one...

This one has me as angry as I've been in a long time. Tampa Bay, Florida, area resident Mark O'Hara served two years of a 25-year mandatory minimum sentence for 58 Vicodin pills. (Vicodin is an opiate pain reliever.) Sound like an extreme sentence for such a small amount, even if it was trafficking as the charges read? But there's more. O'Hara had a prescription for the pills. He's a pain patient. His doctor confirmed that he had prescribed the Vicodin to O'Hara and that he had been treating O'Hara for years. But prosecutors moved against him, and -- astonishingly -- argued to the judge that the jury shouldn't be informed that O'Hara had a prescription for the Vicodin, because there's no "prescription defense." And the judge -- doubly astonishingly -- actually bought it. Never mind the fact that the drug law O'Hara was charged with violating specifically exempts people who have a prescription. The appellate judges who threw out his conviction used words like "ridiculous" and "absurd" to describe it. Sickeningly, prosecutors have yet to say that O'Hara is off the hook and won't be taken to trial again. I think we need to organize on this one and press the system to do justice to the prosecutors and judge for the terrible atrocity they committed against Mark O'Hara. Knowingly imprisoning an innocent person is the functional equivalent of kidnapping. It should be treated as such. Prosecutors Mark Ober and Darrell Dirks should be in chains; their continued status as individuals holding power in the criminal justice system poses a threat to the safety of all Americans. The judge who enabled the kidnapping, Ronald Ficarrotta, may only be completely incompetent, but I'm not sure he should get that benefit of the doubt. Read more at Reason.
Location: 
Tampa, FL
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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David, as they said in the old days ...

Right on.
What is WITH these degenerates? It's as if they don't have a soul.

puregenius's picture

Without question some kind of action needs to be taken

This situation highlights the insanity of these policies. Time and time again these idiots won't even follow the laws they are suppose to be enforcing. It's one thing when the DEA shows how unreasonable it is, but when DAs and judges become complicit things seem more and more hopeless. I wouldn't be surprised if the judge accepting this prosecutor's argument makes it very difficult to charge them with malicious prosecution among other things. I've seen attorneys disbarred for far less egregious behavior.

injustice?

I think it is just a sign tht the police state has arrived! Fascism forever!!! NOT

Sincerely,
Angry pain doctor

Don't try it here

My older brother uses Vicodin AND has a prescription. But let me say this; They'd have to get through ME to get to him for something this heinous. Evil bastards.

I would rather be tried by 6 or 12, than be peacful & dead!

I would have to be retarded to allow thugs of any type to invade my home, kill my pets and a human in my family! I have a new policy. I will gladly dispatch any coward(s) that would break into my house hiding behind a mask. I usually leave a little "clutter" in the hallways of my house to trip any S.O.B.(s) that may come rushing into MY home. I don't care if someone says "police" or some other authoritarian word. Anyone could break into someone else's house and say the same thing! Does that mean they are? Are you willing to bet your life the Ninja is telling the truth? I'm not!

It is far past time to just let some crooked or poorly trained person(s) kill me or my loved ones and say "OOPS, who mispelled this address"! If some one has to hide behind any sort of costume, and I didn't invite them, the time has come to send them on to the happy hunting ground they choose. I am willing to bet the powers to be give pause when they are the ones that get smited for acting like the cowherd they are. I will be doing something about this insane war while protecting those I love. At least my family is still alive and spared the usless whining about another mistake.

Pasco County Florida is Unreal

I am so Happy that people in Pasco County and also other County in Florida are finally see what is happening. I am hoping that this will help other people that were unjustly sentence to life in Prison on Trafficking charges that were not charged with sells but just the fact that they had hydro cone they were charge with trafficking and sentence to 25 years in Prison with no gain time. My daughter boyfriend a non violent first time drug offender received a 25 year sentencing. The boy had a problem he was addicted to drugs, and because he wouldn't snitch he got the time. He never once step foot in side a prison, nor did he have a lengthy criminal past. They threaten him with 102 prison sentence if he took it to jury trail. So that’s the true facts on how malicious Pasco County Prosecutor' are. The sad part about it is they keep getting away with it. If the State has money to lock non violent drug offender up for the best part of their life, then they should also have the money help a first time offender seek help for his addiction problem as the first alternative. I just don't understand how they can get away with this. You hear some people are book smart some are street smart and some just don't have any common sense. Our Government official may be book smart but they really need a lesson in the other areas. Boy would I love to have the opportunity to show a few of them what its all really about. I am sure after a day with me they would have another view point on this drug war especially in Pasco County. I guarantee you the person that snitch on my daughter’s boyfriend had a lot bigger charges then he had. You can bet your bottom dollar she didn't snitch on her connection. It’s all a big joke how Pasco County deals with this issue. My opinion is we are never going to stop the drugs; we haven’t in the past 20 years of this Drug War. The drugs are worst now and more addictive then they have ever been. We need to try to stop the addiction. We need to quit wasting money on unjust sentencing of non violent first time drug offender, and put the money to good use such as a Residential drug program for people who want help for a addiction problem, they can go seek it, with out getting in trouble with the law to get assistant for free. I don’t even want to hear the statement about there is all kinds of free help, because there is not. You may be able to go get a free counseling session, but you know what; these drugs out there now are so powerful it takes more then going to talk to someone for an hour to get off them. Does our Government official think that these people wake up one day and say ok I am going to give up everything I love: my wife, my children, my parents, my job, my home? This addiction is so powerful it takes over their lives. Our Government official need to open their eyes and look at the real picture, get these young first time drug offender out of their 25 years sentencing get them the help they deserve. Addiction is a sickness and it happens to the rich, poor, black, white, young and old. Everyone needs to get involved with this crazy mandatory minimum drug war that has not proven to be effective at all. No one even knows about this law until it affects them. Bet your bottom dollar the Pasco County Prosecutor would never put such a sentencing on one of his own. I am still waiting to see what happens to the Pharmacist and her cop husband that got busted in Pasco County. They both got fired, she got it for obtaining thousands of hydrocodone, but she stated she was just giving them to family members. I have read that mandatory minimum law a hundred times and never once did I see it say as long as your husbands’ a Pasco County Cop you have the right to posses or give thousands of hydrocodone to family members. Let alone forge scripts for 5 make believe patients. Anyone want to bet Pasco Prosecutor don’t give her 25 years in Prison. She says she not a drug dealer so who does she have to snitch on. It’s all truly a Joke. The bottom line is we need more residential rehabs not more Prisons. And FREE first time drug offender from the 25 year drug sentencing.

The Pasco county Police are a

The Pasco county Police are a bunch of fascist idiots. Plain evil. They wouldn't know the difference between right and wrong if their own lives depended on it. They're job is to harass people. They serve those who have money and anyone who doesn't is guilty.  They don't protect people's freedom. They protect those with the most property. In any dispute or issue between someone with greater property to someone with lesser, it's the one with lesser, the weaker, who is presumed wrong. The cops are supposed to protect the weak from the strong, not the other way around. They aren't supposed to be bullys themselves as a public service. They're mindless people who do what's easiest, kissing the butts of the big guy and telling the little guy to go to hell.  They make their jobs easy and go after the weakest members of society. They're a bunch a thugs. They always take the side of the strongest party, which is exactly the opposite of what they ought to do. Serving justice doesn't mean going with the flow, but that's what they do. Being a weaker party is always a crime itself.

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