Why not make prostitution legal? Why not reduce sentences for non-violent crimes?
“On June 10, 2003, Waksal was sentenced to seven years and three months in prison and ordered to pay more than $4 million in fines and back taxes, all the maximum punishments allowable under law. Waksal is not eligible for parole. He is currently serving time in the Federal Correctional Institution, Otisville in New York state as inmate number 53803-054.”
Wiki. He helped cure a form of cancer, Erbitux works. Spitzer should ask Bush to commute Waksal’s sentence.
Cetuximab (marketed under the name Erbitux) is a chimeric monoclonal antibody, an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor, given by intravenous injection for treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer and head and neck cancer. Cetuximab was discovered by ImClone Systems and is distributed in North America by ImClone and Bristol-Myers Squibb, while in the rest of the world distribution is by Merck KGaA.
The initial failure of ImClone Systems to prepare an acceptable FDA filing led to the infamous Martha Stewart insider trading scandal when ImClone’s CEO sold ImClone shares and this information was leaked to Stewart before the FDA announced its refusal to approve the drug for public use. Martha Stewart, Samuel D. Waksal (the founder and former CEO of ImClone), and their broker were indicted, and Stewart and Waksal were sentenced to prison. ImClone shares dropped sharply in the aftermath of the insider trading scandal.
They sold stock when they were having trouble getting approval. But later it worked out and now people are being cured of cancer. Waksal like Thomas C. Butler is a benefactor of mankind. The judge said curing cancer was not meritorious compared to tutoring children who can’t learn and that Waksal was just saving lives of the people who contribute to society instead of wasting his time on tutoring and thus not curing cancer. This is an absurd violation of justice.
Eliot Spitzer should ask Bush to commute Waksal’s sentence to time served.
The obsession that Waksal had over Erbitux is what created it and brought it to market. The same obsession led him to sell stock when it was in trouble at an intermediate stage. He was having mood swings over it. He had a sense of entitlement for making it. This is why it exists.
To take the lives saved by Erbitux which are the fruit of his obsession and unbalanced link to it and condemn the insider trading is to demand an impossible bargain. There would be no Erbitux without Waksal’s unbalanced emotions for it. That is what caused the insider trading. To take the benefit while condemning the insider trading and give him the maximum sentence is both unfair and unjust.
Lives have been saved. The judge and prosecutors made their decisions out of envy and jealousy perhaps. They haven’t saved lives like Waksal has. They acted with excess. This episode counts against them. They had a fixation on Waksal like Waksal had on Erbitux. But people walk around today alive because of Waksal’s fixation. Waksal sits in prison because of the government’s fixation.