TO: The Pain and Social Policy
listServ of the Pain Relief Network, and to the The Project for Pain and
Chemical Dependency of the National Foundation for the Treatment of Pain
FROM: Christine Heberle (wife of Dr. Paul
I would like to say that last
night we (Paul Heberle's defense team) had a chance to discuss some things that
occurred after the trial. One of which has never happened to any of the
attorneys in the over 60 combined years of practice. Four jurors approached our
attorneys after the trial to shake their hand. They were crying and wanted to
thank them. It seems they had an opinion before the hearing started and the
lawyers successfully prevented them from making a terrible mistake. None of the
attorneys had ever seen jurist so moved by a verdict.
Dr. Fisher, Dr. Stinson, Paul, and the host of other witnesses were brilliant.
They were honest and unshakeable by the prosecutors questions. Even though Paul
did not know these two wonderful men (defense experts Drs. Fisher and Stinson),
it was amazing how identical their testimony was when it came to treatment. Each
had their own approach. Each made the prosecutor (Senior Deputy State Attorney
General Doug Wright) look frustrated and out of control.
Dr. Fisher the confident physician, secure in his knowledge, and with his own
axe to grind. Purely presenting to stop the injustice that the Pennsylvania
Attorney General was trying to invoke on an innocent man.
Dr. Stinson, just as brilliant, and he complimented both Paul and Dr. Fisher
well. No incentive or motive to help, but he did because the science justified
the care. He successfully pointed out that there is a standard for treating
chronic pain responsibly and the prosecution expert witness (Dr. August Mantia)
fell far short of the responsible segment of the medical community.
Paul was completely confident, and testified that he did everything he could to
medically care for his patients. He treated them with the respect and care that
all patients deserve. He explained to the jury the reason why he took every
action for each patient and he did so with the best and most current medical
science backing him.
Then our attorneys (lead by John Moore and Donald Wagner) orchestrated their
personalities to complement each other. The timing was perfect. In each and
every witness that was brought by the defense, the facts remained the same. Not
one of the witnesses were coached or rehearsed, unlike the prosecution's
witnesses. Their ability to answer honestly on cross examination was effective
and proved they knew what they were talking about. On the other hand, witnesses
for the prosecution were constantly stumped on the stand, often
self-contradicting, and seemed dishonest.
A senior Erie Times-News journalist (David Bruce) said that the trial of Paul
Heberle has sent ripples through the community like nothing they have seen
before. They are getting phone calls of joy and relief from chronic pain
sufferers (viciously cleaved first from Dr. Klees and then from Dr. Heberle by
the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with help from the DEA), doctors, grateful
citizens, and attorneys. Doctors are speaking out who were afraid to say
anything before; likewise patients who have been undertreated or denied care.
The verdict and the aftermath has overwhelmed them.
They should all be applauded for their honesty and willingness to help. Each and
everyone of the above has contributed to history.
Thanks to Siobhan Reynolds and the Pain Relief Network for making the
connections possible that brought our excellent defense team together, and for
Siobhan's experienced counsel, and her leadership.
- Christine, 2006-05-28