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Utah

Judge reduces sentence for convicted Brigham City pill doctor

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  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    May 8, 2014 12:44 p.m.

    I find it incredible that Dr. MacKay would deliberately hurt his patients. This "mandatory sentencing" thing has got to stop. 20 years for Dr. MacKay? Really?

  • David Centerville, UT
    May 8, 2014 1:11 p.m.

    I agree with Irony Guy. Mandatory sentences can end up being "cruel and unusual punishment" as each case is unique. Judges should have the liberty to draw upon the DA and prosecutors, as well as the judge's own discretion and experience, as well as experts in criminal fields, to determine sentencing. Politicians establish mandatory sentences to look tough on crime. It becomes a political reaction to win elections. This can be bad for society.

    Dr. MacKay may have misused his authority in prescribing medications (the court determined that he did), but 20 years is excessive punishment.

  • Judy Ann SACRAMENTO, CA
    May 8, 2014 6:45 p.m.

    He did the crime, now let him serve the time. Don't be naïve Utahans. I suppose because he is a Sunday School teacher in prison you think he is Mr. Good Guy. I think NOT.

  • cbm Salt Lake City, UT
    May 8, 2014 11:04 p.m.

    Judy Ann, you don't know the man. How dare you judge so harshly. You need to understand much more about the man.

  • LiberalJimmy Salt Lake City, UT
    May 8, 2014 11:27 p.m.

    A man died as a result of this doctor's crimes. Correct?

  • David Centerville, UT
    May 9, 2014 10:00 a.m.

    Liberal Jimmy,

    I believe you are correct, a man died from drug overdose. But do we know if the man lied to Dr MacKay in order to obtain drugs for the purpose of recreational use rather than legitimate reasons? Do we know if the man followed the label instructions?

    Dr MacKay was guilty of not following prescribing requirements. I am quite certain he did not intend for a man to die. So why was Dr MacKay vearing from his obligations as a prescriber? Was it because management put pressure on him to produce more, see more patients, bill more? Was it because Medicaid & insurers have drastically decreased reimbursements to doctors leaving them strained to manage their business? None of these would excuse irresponsible prescribing behavior, but I do believe doctors can be put in a difficult position many times. 20 years in prison is too harsh, in my opinion.