Kansas advocate’s supporters: Grand jury retaliatory
Reynolds, president of the nonprofit Pain Relief Network, championed the defense of Dr. Stephen Schneider and his wife, Linda, who were convicted earlier this year of a moneymaking conspiracy linked to 68 overdose deaths at a Kansas clinic. Schneider was sentenced to 30 years in prison; his wife received 33 years.
Federal prosecutors tried unsuccessfully in 2008 to get the judge overseeing the Schneider case to issue a gag order against Reynolds. In court documents at the time, the government portrayed Reynolds as having a “sycophantic or parasitic relationship” with the couple and claimed she was using the Schneider case to further her group’s political agenda.
Reynolds, who believes a federal crackdown on prescription painkillers has left chronic pain patients needlessly suffering, lined up defense lawyers and paid for a highway billboard sign proclaiming: “Dr. Schneider never killed anyone.”
About six weeks after the billboard went up, court documents contend Reynolds and her group received subpoenas seeking documents related to the sign, her communications with numerous lawyers, patients, state medical regulators, the Schneiders and their relatives along with financial and telephone records and an advocacy video she made.
The American Civil Liberties Union, which represented Reynolds at the district court level, alleged in court documents posted on its website last year that the subpoenas were obtained by “a frustrated prosecutor seeking to silence a dissenting advocate.”