A few weeks ago, an original set of four posts about Marilyn Lemak – Trial and Punishment, Then and Now, Clemency, When the Music Stops elicited mostly supportive comments from those who comment regularly on RxISK.
The three posts last week, Eric Zorn and Marilyn Lemak, People Respond and Janet Lagerloef responds, drew a very different kind of response. There was a lot of hostility to the idea that Marilyn could have a genuine Zoloft based case.
Some people seem to know for sure what the story is and are unwilling to have the case reviewed for what they seem to think are wishy-washy reasons. A horrific crime was committed, the woman must pay, end of story. Blaming the drug looks like just another instance of fabricated excuses – not much better than claiming it was really aliens did it.
Eric Zorn leans towards saying a new trial rather than clemency is the best option. These are tough issues. If there is a case to be made it should be fought through a judicial process rather than the governor doing a well-placed, middle-class white woman a favor.
But here’s the problem. However much anyone agrees with the idea that Marilyn should be forced to fight her corner and twelve normal people should be let listen and see if any of them agree with her, this is not how a trial in this case work.
This is not a case of the police later finding the murder weapon with someone else’s finger-prints on it.
If we cast Zoloft and Pfizer as the murder weapon, as lots of jurors and the public who have had Zoloft know, they didn’t kill someone when they were taking it – what is this crazy story this woman is trying to spin.
Central to a case like this is the testimony of the woman taking the pills. Listening to her talk about how she responded to the pills is key – but how can that be retrieved now after twenty years? Are you as a juror going to believe this is what really happened if you really listened to her now or think that she would say anything to get free and she’s a clever woman who will have thought long and hard about what to say to sound convincing?
The questions of the prosecutor to those who knew her about whether she seemed crazy or confused in the days and hours before the killing were central to the case 20 years ago, but just as critical are the questions that the defense team never got to ask
Let’s agree she was thinking about killing her children and herself when you last saw her, and we both agree she wasn’t obviously crazy, do you think she was weirdly calm given the thoughts we now know she was having?
Back then a good defense team would have been able to improve on questions like this. Would have been able to find family members or friends to whom she talked about the effects of Zoloft on her – remember there was nothing good about these effects.
But we can’t do that now. Memories aren’t stable enough for that.
Among the strongest evidence would have been something like video evidence of her state of mind in the days and weeks after the killings followed by further videos of her some weeks later with all drugs removed.
The descriptions of her in the court room may be descriptions of an agitated, distraught woman – after the events – but to anyone who has been on some of the meds she was later put on like Haldol, they sound like descriptions of drug effects.
Marilyn Lemak could only have gotten a fair trial if her legal team were free back then to muster evidence in these areas to present to the jury and the court. And it can’t be done now.
Even if they suspected the drugs, Illinois law would not let them raise this as a defense.
Am I saying all people who kill someone else while they are taking a psychotropic drug should have this option? In principle perhaps I am, but I have been approached about tons of cases like this where the family wanted an expert to make a case the drug had done it and its pretty obvious to me it hasn’t and that’s what I say.
Maybe naively, I once told lawyers for Lilly – look I could be your best expert in some of these cases. Someone who agrees Prozac can cause problems but that it didn’t in this case might look more convincing to a jury than some expert who says – oh no this drug never has and never could cause a problem.
I can still see in my mind’s eye the room where the conversation with their lawyers took place.
Pfizer and Lilly and J & J and Merck and
But Pfizer and Lilly are never likely to take up an option like this. A good defense attorney can easily make the case that Pfizer and Lilly are guilty even if Prozac or Zoloft were not the murder weapon.
Don’t you think Dr Healy these companies are guilty of:
- Hiding their trial data?
- Not even showing the full data to FDA?
- Miscoding suicides and attempted suicide as nausea or burns or caused by placebo?
- Inventing patients that don’t exist?
- Claiming the drugs work where work means reducing a rating scale score but not saving lives or getting people back to work – no juror would agree that’s a good definition of working, would they?
- Guilty of ghost-writing the publications of these trials, even those appearing in the very best journals like the New England Journal of Medicine – and pretty routinely writing up fraudulent accounts of these trials – publishing studies where the drug could not be shown to work as glowingly positive for the drug?
- Don’t you agree Dr Healy that FDA routinely agree to go along with company behavior like this?
Yes sir, the evidence is cast-iron for all these points and more.
The bottom line here is Pfizer and Lilly are guilty of murder and fraud. Not just of individuals but of nations – genocide. The life expectancy of Americans and an increasing number of Western countries has been falling for nearly a decade and polypharmacy has to be a major factor in this if not the leading cause of this.
It used to be older people who were on five to ten drugs every day of the year but now its teenagers. Not surprisingly given these drugs wipe out our ability to make love or interest in doing so, cause miscarriages and birth defects, the reproductive replacement rates for the United States and other Western countries are falling.
A site called Violation Tracker lists all the fines the major companies have paid for marketing infringements over the last two decades.
- Johnson and Johnson – $ 20 Billion
- Pfizer – $ 14 Billion
- Purdue who have been killing half a million people a year are way down this list
You can’t fraudulently represent the results of trials and not expect outcomes like homicides, suicides, addictions, birth defects,the elimination of the ability to make love or dementia or other problems.
We blame taking alcohol or nicotine every day of the year for premature deaths and dementia but these drugs are available over the counter whereas Zoloft and Oxycontain aren’t – because we think these are more dangerous than alcohol or nicotine.
How can we not get premature deaths and dementia from a propaganda machine that has an increasing number of us on Zoloft and five or ten other drugs, more dangerous than alcohol and nicotine, every day of the year?
But what we do not know is whether Pfizer are guilty of the murder of Marilyn Lemak’s children.
So while there is a lot to be said for a new trial – it is not clear that this is the best option. Marilyn Lemak may be guilty but she didn’t get a fair trial in the first instance. Evidence she was entitled to depend on did not come into the frame.
When the Governor sits down to decide whether to grant clemency or not, is he going to be a bleeding hearted liberal and set Marilyn Lemak free?
Or is he going to get approached by someone from Pfizer who have made $54 Billion from their vaccine who will say to him – hey JB the very last thing that great company needs now is a new trial. They aren’t going to want anyone able to tell the world in the full-glare of the publicity that trial would attract – thatPfizer are responsible for falling US life expectancies and tons of homicides – like James Holmes the Batman Killer.
That Pfizer knew something like this could happen on Zoloft a decade before it was approved by FDA?
Who knows someone might start asking about the vaccine trials, which were ghostwritten, with no access to the trial data, and an increasing amount of evidence pointing to fraud.
What would those people so resistant to the idea of clemency for Marilyn say to the Governor?