A California doctor was recently convicted of murder after three patients died of drug overdoses. On a recent Friday, she was sentenced to three decades behind prison bars. The woman who was sentenced for her drug crime is 46 years old.
Authorities said the doctor prescribed drugs to three individuals, ages 21, 25 and 28, who ended up dying. Each of the patients drove a long distance to see the woman at her clinic, located in a strip mall, for prescriptions. Officials said she catered to men who were willing to travel a while to get to her and then pay her cash for drug prescriptions they really did not need. The woman is said to have written the prescriptions without meaningfully examining the patients. She also reportedly ignored pleas that came from loved ones who were concerned about the patients' worsening addictions.
According to officials, these types of cases have been cropping up throughout the United States in the past several years. However, the woman is said to be the only physician in the country who has been convicted on a murder charge for the reckless prescribing of drugs. Right now, the nation is in the middle of an epidemic regarding the abuse of prescriptions and heroin.
A person who is accused of a drug crime may proceed to trial if he or she believes this is in his or her best interests. At trial, California prosecutors have to prove the charges by relevant evidence that meets the strict requirements of our criminal justice system; otherwise, the accused cannot be convicted. If offered by government prosecutors, an accused individual may accept a plea deal, which could result in less severe charges or a more lenient sentence than would have been rendered had a conviction be secured at trial.
Source: cnn.com, "Southern California doctor sentenced in overdose deaths", Scott Glover, Feb. 5, 2016