Saturday, July 21, 2007

No prison time for 3 Oxycontin executives

Three lucky executives will not be going to jail for their crimes: Michael Friedman, Purdue Pharma’s president until recently; Howard R. Udell, its top lawyer; and Dr. Paul D. Goldenheim, its former medical director. Purdue Pharma is owned by the Sackler family, well known contributors to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Mary Jo White, a former United States attorney in New York who represented attorney Udell, said he was the “moral compass” of Purdue Pharma. Well, it sounds like that's the problem right there.

Lots of public and private agencies hire lawyers to be their "moral compass," knowing full well that the lawyer understands that his job is to help them do what they want to do and get away with it.

BARRY MEIER of New York Times reports on July 20, 2007 that "Judge James P. Jones of United States District Court indicated that he was troubled by his inability to send the executives to prison."

"After hearing wrenching testimony from parents of young adults who died from overdoses involving the painkiller OxyContin, a federal judge Friday sentenced three top executives of the company that makes the narcotic to three years’ probation and 400 hours each of community service in drug treatment programs."

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