(Fletcher, G. 1998) defines criminal law as an embodiment of legislation that relates to crimes committed on day to day life. These laws are relative owing to the fact that each and every country has its own; the laws define what activity amounts to a crime and the penalty for the commitment of each. These laws limit the conduct of citizens and ban any activity that would cause harm, endanger or threaten the wellbeing of other members of the society.
When Robert Ray Courtney was taken to court in the year 2002 he was charged of committing a crime, the fifty year old gentleman was charged of diluting drugs in his pharmacy and then selling the diluted drugs to the general public. As defined earlier this act was likely to jeopardize the life of the general; public. The population buys drugs from pharmacies only after falling ill and the drugs having been prescribed by a medical practitioner. While buying the drugs the sick expects to recover and this recovery process would only take effect when the chemical components in the drugs dispensed to them is as was calculated by the manufacturer. Therefore when Courtney dilutes these drugs without putting into consideration the ramifications of his act of greed he most definitely is putting the lives of the general public at a risk. To further complicate issues is the fact that the drugs he dilutes are those that the public needs the most as they are for the number one killer disease world over-cancer.
Robert Ray Courtney was born in the year 1952 and until his arrest and subsequent conviction was a pharmacist who owned and operated the Research Medical Tower in Kansas City (Draper, R. 2003). He was just an ordinary child to an ordinary family as his farther who was a travelling minister states. He played trombone while in High school-Wichita South High school. After high school he proceeded to the University of Missouri where he graduated from the school of pharmacy in 1975. Roy as popularly known was generous man and believed in the doctrines of Christian faith, he belonged to the Assembly of God church and was a committed member of the church he expressed great generosity to his School at the University of Missouri. A part from being a business man, Roy was also a family member, a husband and a father. His family life was however not a rosy one as he kept moving from one marriage to another at the time of his conviction he was living with his third wife having divorced twice.
The case against him was not a light one, a discrepancy was noticed in the cancer drugs that had been purchased by one of his clients one Miss Eli Lilly. After a little investigation into the discrepancy, her investigations hit a snag and she closed the investigations without carrying out any further action. But when she later shared this with a colleague and tests were carried out on the drugs, Courtney’s plot was busted. A laboratory investigation is hard to contest, the manufacturer’s specifications are normally at hand and along which the drugs were compared and this offered evidence that one would not stand to contest.
According to the record offered by the law enforcement, Roy had diluted averagely 98,000 prescriptions and these must have been sold out to 4,200 patients. Among some of the key crimes that he had thus committed was placing the lives of these people in harm’s way. Reportedly he had diluted 72 types of drugs key among them being cancer drugs. At the time of his arrest, Courtney had assets amounting to $18.7 million, this were arguably attributable to the ploy, he was therefore again charged with felony, a ploy to extort money from the unsuspecting civilians for his own benefit. To add to this while in court, he pleaded guilty of having been involved in conspiring to traffic stolen drugs this was made possible by them filling false Medicare claims which amounted to yet another crime.
In retrospect, Courtney stood defendant to averagely three hundred suits for fraud and wrongful deaths and for all these he pleaded guilty and was thus sentenced to thirty years imprisonment.
Draper, R. 2003. The Toxic Pharmacist. New York: New York Times online
Fletcher, G. 1998. Basic Concepts of Criminal Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Print