A 551-pound convict's house arrest sentence stands, according to the federal judge who initially put the 30-month sentence into place. Steven Goodman argued that his sentence should be reduced because he is too heavy to leave his home anyway, but he did not manage to sway the judge in the pill mill case.
According to WPTV, the 551-pound convict's house arrest sentence came about "not as a favor to him," U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra noted. Rather, the sentence was put into place "in order to spare the Bureau of Prisons the burden of having to care for him." Goodman, 70, was sentenced in August 2012 for his role in the pill mill ring that included Jeffrey and Christopher George and their network of clinics.
Goodman is accused of having supplied more than one million illegal pills to clinics run by Jeffrey and Christopher George in Wilton Manors, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The George brothers are serving 15-and-a-half and 14 years for their roles in heading up the drug ring.
Judge Marra had sentenced the 551-pound convict to house arrest in his Treasure Island home because it would be difficult for the prison system to accommodate someone of his size. He is unable to bathe or dress himself, and the prison beds would not work for him. Now, however, Goodman's attorney argued that the home arrest was "both unnecessary and futile" and asked for the remaining seven months of the sentence to be nullified.
If the convict cannot leave his house, why ask for the sentence to be nullified? It seems he has an incurable lymph system disease, and doctors have given him six to 12 months to live. Goodman would like to go to Cincinnati, Ohio to say goodbye to family and friends. The judge asked how Goodman would manage to travel, given his restrictions. Marra also noted, "If defendant's health and obesity 'effectively confines him to his home'" as argued by Goodman's attorney, "then continuation of that restriction will not adversely affect him."
The Palm Beach Post noted that with the original case, 29 others were sentenced in the pill mill ring that is said to have caused more than 50 deaths. At the time of the sentencing for the 551-pound convict's home arrest, doctors testified that Goodman likely would not do well in prison due to his size and multiple health problems. Goodman had begged the judge for mercy, saying that he "disgraced myself, my friends and my profession." He added, "I am truly sorry for what I've done."
Goodman is not the only morbidly obese individual to run into issues when it comes to crime and punishment, and the authorities seemingly are rarely swayed by apologies or excuses. Steven Goodman may be sorry for what he has done, and he may only have months to live. However, the judge did not take long to determine that the 551-pound convict's house arrest sentence would stand.
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