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30-40-Year Term ‘Plenty’ For Ex-radiologic Tech

November 29, 2013
Written by: , Filed in: Cardiac Imaging, Medical Ethics, Practice Management
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On Monday, a cardiac radiologic technician who caused at least 46 people to become infected with hepatitis C will receive a sentence of 30 to 40 years in prison on drug-related charges. An attorney for two of his victims says that seems about right.

Brendan Lupetin of Pittsburgh represents two of the hospital patients whom David Kwiatkowski, 34, infected. Lupetin told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, “I haven’t heard anything to suggest that they believe he should get anything more severe or less.”

Lupetin continued:

He’s going to be in prison until his mid-60s. That’s going to give some peace of mind that this guy is having to serve time for what happened. Some people felt he should have gotten more. Some people think 30 years is plenty. Either way, it’s just a sad case.

Indeed.

We’ve covered Kwiatkowski before, most recently in August when he pleaded guilty to 14 charges of drug theft and tampering in a deal with prosecutors. He admitted stealing syringes of fentanyl, injecting himself with the drug, then refilling the syringes with saline solution tainted with his blood.

His sentencing hearing is scheduled for Monday. The Associated Press reports that prosecutors have filed documents arguing for a 40-year sentence. They say Kwiatkowski put thousands of people at risk, causing substantial physical and emotional damage. More than 12,000 people received notification that they should get tested for hepatitis.

Defense attorneys acknowledged the “life shattering nature” of the damage Kwiatkowski caused. But they contended a 30-year sentence would be appropriate. They said he confessed before his first court appearance, didn’t blame anyone else, and pleaded guilty relatively early.

They also cited his mental and emotional problems and his “addictive disease which clouded his awareness of the risk to which he was exposing his patients, as well as himself.”

We’ll know on Monday which argument the judge finds more persuasive.

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