DEVENS, MASSACHUSETTS- Gerald Duval's health is deteriorating, say his family members, and no one seems to care. Despite being placed in a Federal Medical Center, Duval's illnesses have been exacerbated by a lack of attention.
Duval is incarcerated at FMC Devens in West Virginia, convicted by a federal judge on drug charges for activities related to his status as a patient registered with the Michigan's Medical Marihuana Act (MMA). His son Jeremy is also incarcerated for a conviction in the case but is housed at a different facility.
Duval is a transplant patient and a glaucoma sufferer whose medical care requires a strict schedule of medications and prompt attention to illness and injury. One estimate cites a $1.2 million price tag to keep Duval properly cared for during the duration of his sentence. His story has been featured in national press, and Americans for Safe Access uses his case in the promotion of their Peace For Patients program.
His wife, Tracey Bowen-Duval, and his daughter Ashley keep the story of the Duvals updated via social media. Ashley posted this disturbing message on Wednesday, October 16:
Dad just called Tracey Bowen-Duval and informed her he just experienced something again terrible in fmc devens. He just had what he described as the worst hemorrhage in his right eye he had ever suffered. The same eye he had been waiting to see the doctor for over four months now. What did they do for this??? NOTHING AT ALL!!! His eye is actively bleeding, struggling to see I'm sure they will again force him to work as they have been. The sclera of his eye is red and purple, not white. He is still waiting to see the doctor from the first hemorrhage, the heart doctor from his chest pains and now this!!!! STILL NO DOCTOR!!! I'm asking for you help again, please write to his warden your local officials anyone you no or even can put me in contact with them. This needs to stop before my dad is completely blind!!! I will be again writing the warden, Cole, the president and every news station i can, i have had enough of this horrible treatment in what they call a hospital!! The Boston bomber got better treatment then a sick American farmer who hurt no one!!!
Is this ok in America now?? Do they care at all about the sick in prison??
Peace For Patients member Kari Boiter has initiated calls to Washington legislators, per her social media updates. Boiter initiated a petition to secure the Compassionate Release of Duval on medical grounds; per Bowen-Duval, that effort is moving forward but is a lengthy process. You can help by signing the petitionHERE.
"I am as optimistic as our corrupt justice system allows me to be, which is to say I have no idea what to expect here," Boiter recently posted via social media. "Other prisoners who've applied since Jerry's request was submitted have already gotten letters containing an outright denial. Jerry continues to attend team meetings about his request and has been asked to submit additional paperwork and sign a waiver for his medical records to be released. Could this be a positive sign?" she asked.
She shared a scan on a letter sent yesterday by Duval, which is included with this article.
The Duval family is asking people to write letters to:
Deputy Attorney General James Cole
Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20530-0001
Charles E. Samuels, Jr.
Director, Bureau of Prisons
320 First Street NW
Washington, DC 20534
Previous articles on the Duval case from The Compassion Chronicles:
Source: The Compassion Chronicles