Dr. Paul V. Maynard is a compassionate doctor, born in Nevis but living on St. Thomas for the past 30 years. He has cared for and helped many persons in the Virgin Islands. But now he has been thrown in jail. They have taken away his very glasses so he can't read and debased him to the point where his health is at risk. But the worst thing they have done, that has caused all of this suffering is to slander his good name. The government claims he was a drug dealer - when he was nothing of the sort. Dr. Maynard is a gentle man of medicine, and always has been. No one in the Virgin Islands community believes that Dr. Maynard is, or ever was a drug dealer.
The government also knows that Dr. Maynard is no drug dealer - even the prosecutor who has known him for more than 25 years knows this. The medicines he prescribed were approved by the U. S. Congress, but these prosecutors don't think we should have them. They are afraid every one of us will become addicts. They prefer instead that people suffer in pain. They are certain that we shouldn't allow doctors to use these medicines. So they make Dr. Maynard an example to discourage other physicians from treating their pain patients.
In the days ahead, when we consider where the injustices in this case lie, we should contemplate the following:
(1). The under-cover agents did not present to the jury or the court the full story of the academy award-winning performance that they rendered in Dr. Maynard's office. Brad Pitt would be envious of their artful pretense, particularly how one "undercover" agent removed his shirt in the doctor's office to show a back aflame in red signifying the unbearable pain that required Dr. Maynard's pain treatment.
(2). When Dr. Maynard's office was under surveillance, one visitor who saw the doctor for the first time as a patient was Prosecutor Chisholm. Strange?
(3). Dr. Maynard wrote prescriptions for approved pain medicines. But he did not stock any medicine at his office. Each time medicine was prescribed the doctor was responding to patients' claims of experiencing extreme pain and they had to go to a pharmacist to have the prescription filled. Dr. Maynard only charged for an office visit, and get this, the undercover agents never filled the prescriptions.
(4). The one person that the government asked the jury to believe had died from drugs that had been prescribed by Dr. Maynard was bar-hopping and drinking liquor the whole day through before he died, apparently ignoring the directions as to how and when he could appropriately take the medicine that had been prescribed.
(5). With all due respect to Judge Giles, you could have done better, your Honor. The way this case was tried did not presume Dr. Maynard's innocence. It invited him instead to prove he was not guilty. In other words, the court did not restrain the excesses of the prosecution.
(6). Any jury that is deciding the fate of the accused is supposed to be doing this in secret. How is it then that so many persons knew about the deliberations of this jury before it was made public?
(7). If there is no evidence that Dr. Maynard was being exorbitant in his fees for an office visit, why is his office building being targeted for takeover by the prosecutor?
(8). Court is supposed to be an open proceeding. Again, this is a right guaranteed us under the First Amendment. We are supposed to have access to court. But the door to the court room was barred to Dr. Maynard's family when the verdict was being read? What did they have to hide? Or is there a different law being developed for us here in the Virgin Islands?
(9). Dr. Maynard was initially found guilty on two charges. And the court should not take a partial verdict. But the court accepted a partial verdict, then sent the jury back to see whether they could convict Dr. Maynard on two more counts. So they did!
(10). I am reliably informed that after Maynard's sentencing, the jury foreman and the Prosecutor were seen knocking glasses, at her favorite spot on St. John, proclaiming they got "a big fish."
(11). Members of a jury are free to comment after a verdict. The word is that these jurors are afraid to comment. Who wouldn't be reluctant to speak after this injudicious spectacle?
Let's consider what we've seen here in the light of words written in 1776 by Thomas Paine: "These are the times that try men's souls. " But we can gain strength from the sentiments of a war-time Prime Minister, Churchill, as he faced tyranny. He exhorted his countrymen to fight everywhere and never surrender. Our fight is by word. Our strongest weapon is the truth, that is, who Dr. Maynard is, what he really did, and the rights that have been compromised.
So we will continue this fight in meeting halls, in churches, at rallies, and finally in the court. We will fight everywhere and never surrender because to surrender to the unfairness seen in Dr. Maynard's case is to tolerate injustice and the arrogance of power. Then who will be the next victim? We know Dr. Maynard's worth is seen in God's eyes! We have seen that vitalizing spark and know Dr. Maynard for who he truly is. Now, we have to help our government to forego its wrong policy and to see Dr. Maynard through other eyes, and more importantly, through God's eyes: the eyes of ultimate justice!
Whitman T. Browne
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