Nope, it’s not a line from a cheesy cop show.  It’s not a version of Mac OS.  (Well, technically it is, but it’s not what I’m referring to.) Unfortunately, it’s the value of a human life as determined by the U.S. court system in New Hampshire that handed down a sentence of 39 years to one David Kwiatkowski, euphemistically called a “traveling medical technician” by the idiot press.  Mr. Kwiatkowski managed to infect 45 helpless hospital patients with hepatitis-C across New Hampshire, Maryland and Kansas.  He also worked in Michigan, New York, Arizona and Georgia.  39 years for willfully infecting 45 patients ends up at 10.4 months per victim.  Sweet ain’t it? Guilty of causing one death to date and forever damaging the health and lives of 44 other “known” victims and we can’t see past our mercies, sympathies and civility to give this man the business end of a needle, a thrill I should remind you, that he was willing to kill for.

When they ask for the needle, maybe we should oblige..

When they ask for the needle, maybe we should oblige..

For those who don’t recall, Mr. Kwiatkowski was arrested in July of 2012 for “Drug Diversion Activities”, a rather cutesy, clinical way to avoid saying he was stealing pain meds from patients of the coronary unit he worked in.  Yup, while you were suffering through the pain of your triple bypass, Ol’ needles himself was standing over you, high on your meds as he injected his own tainted internally brewed death sentence into your I.V.  As a result of his indifference to the suffering of others, over 3,700 patients of Exeter Hospital had to be tested for the virus.  Given his travels and the fact that he’d been doing this since probably as far back as 2008, the Centers for Disease Control recommended that more than 12,000 people be tested.  I’ve no data or any information to indicate how many possible victims have even been notified, let alone tested.  How do we know how many victims he may have truly killed?  Reality check; just 1% of 12,000 is an additional 120 victims.  10.4 months per victim drops precipitously after that

Of course, as I had suggested we might in an earlier post, we sent him to detox so he’d be a more presentable “sympathetic” addict, someone we could presumably look at and mutter under our collective breath; “There but for the grace of God go I..”  Needles now freely admits he had a major drug and alcohol problem and is currently suffering from severe depression for which the wonderful citizens of New Hampshire have all pitched in to purchase Lithium and other meds in an effort to ease his pain.  Wouldn’t want him spending those 39 years suffering with his conscience would we? Cruel and unusual, you know. ACLU stuff for sure.  Lifetime of suffering for the victims?  At 10.4 months per life, who gives a crap.  Yeesh.

Needles eventually admitted guilt to 16 federal drug charges resulting in prosecutors asking for 40 years in the Gray Bar Suites and Finishing School.  U.S. Attorney John Kacavas said the sentence “ensures that this serial infector no longer is in a position to do harm to innocent and vulnerable people.” What? How’s that work?  The bastard is a walking cesspool of hep-C virus; you don’t think he’ll infect someone behind bars?  Fat chance he doesn’t bleed on someone or engage in any of the other recreational activities prisons are known for which just happen to have a high correlation with hep-C.   Oh, and yeah; he’ll still get out.  Remember, he wasn’t found guilty of first-degree murder, life with no parole and all that, even though he admitted to investigators “I’m going to kill a lot of people out of this.”  Nope, federal drug charges.  How long before his sentence is reduced by good behavior or he shows up for parole hearings? Even the judge seemed pleased with himself, reducing the sentence by one year, from the ridiculous forty requested by the prosecution to 39.  His reasoning? So Needles could dwell on the fact that “some people have the capacity for mercy and compassion.”  Seriously.  Judge Joseph Laplante looked poor ol’, severely depressed Needles in the eye and told him “It’s important for you to recognize and remember as you spend the next 39 years in prison to focus on the one year you didn’t get and try to develop that capacity in yourself.”  You can’t make this shit up.  How he said that with a straight face, who the hell knows

There you go folks.  We are reduced to 10.4 months per person.  Could be less but we’ll never know unless we’re willing to hunt down those other 12,000 folks and do the math all over again.  In any event, we’ll supply the perp with the meds he needs to help him live the next 39 years, at our expense, without the fear that his inner voice will tell him to gouge out his wretched eyes, all for the simple crime of diversion; meaning of course he denied those with gaping wounds in their chests of the meds they needed to help them simply take their next breath.

When ol’ needles gets out in 30 years or so (I’m betting 25), chances are he will have outlived a good number of his victims.  Of course, he’ll be forever supplied with his happy meds and we’ll keep footing the bill as he eases back among us, a threat no more.  Or we hope.

We’re civilized, compassionate, humane and a bit stupid. And we wonder why this keeps happening.