Limbaugh to Judgment

Primary sources exposed and explained.
May 3 2006 4:08 PM

Limbaugh to Judgment

VIEW ALL ENTRIES

On May 1, Rush Limbaugh signed a "deferred prosecution agreement" (see below) with the Palm Beach state attorney. The agreement is the outcome of a three-year investigation into Limbaugh's procurement of OxyContin and other painkillers, to which he became addicted after spinal surgery.

News of Limbaugh's addiction first appeared in an October 2003 National Enquirer story in which a former housekeeper  of Limbaugh's claimed Limbaugh paid her tens of thousands of dollars to procure painkillers. Although that claim was never substantiated, Limbaugh publicly admitted his addiction  and entered a drug rehab program. Meanwhile, State Attorney Barry Krischer concluded that Limbaugh had acquired painkillers through illegal "doctor shopping"—receiving overlapping prescriptions from different doctors who are unaware of one another—and seized Limbaugh's medical records, which reportedly showed that Limbaugh acquired more than 2,000  painkillers over a period of five months. Limbaugh responded by declaring the seizure illegal and challenging it, unsuccessfully, in court. He also took out full-page ads  in the Palm Beach Post and Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel in which he accused Krischer, a Democrat, of pursuing him for political reasons.

Krischer has been looking to settle this case for three years. Originally he insisted on a guilty plea to doctor shopping, which is a felony in Florida. Krischer argued that Limbaugh's medical records "would support in excess of ten felony counts." Now Krischer has dropped that demand. Instead, he is in effect putting Limbaugh on a kind of probation. If Limbaugh honors the agreement, Krischer won't prosecute. Limbaugh likens the agreement to a verdict of "not guilty." That isn't remotely true. Newsweek came closer to the mark when it labeled the outcome "a slap on the wrist." According to Michael Edmondson, spokesman for the state attorney's office, first offenders typically aren't jailed for doctor shopping.

To read the annotations on this and the following two pages, roll your mouse over the text highlighted in yellow.

If you have a document you'd like to suggest for this column, please e-mail me atdocuments@slate.com. Please indicate whether you'd like to be mentioned by name.

Doctor shopping. In Florida, this is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. First offenders, though, rarely if ever go to the Big House.
This is not a plea agreement. If he isn't a good dittohead, Limbaugh can still be prosecuted a year and a half from now.
This program is run by the Florida Department of Correctiions, which will monitor the agreement.
They really know how to hurt a guy!

 

Timothy Noah is a former Slate staffer. His  book about income inequality is The Great Divergence.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.