Ronald McIver had spent more than five years in prison, serving a 30-year term for his alleged role in man's drug overdose.
McIver's lawyers at DLA Piper, including Peter Zeidenberg, serving pro bono, successfully convinced a federal district judge in South Carolina to vacate the prison term earlier this year.
In post-conviction litigation, McIver’s defense attorneys presented new information about the case, compelling the presiding judge set a new sentencing hearing. Click here for earlier coverage.
Yesterday, Judge Henry Floyd of the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina sentenced McIver, who is 66 and suffering from advanced prostrate cancer, to time-served. McIver, who has a life expectancy of less than a year, is expected to be released soon, Zeidenberg said.
McIver, who has relinquished his medical license, would have died in prison, Zeidenberg said. Zeidenberg called the ruling a “thrilling” victory. “To think this man was looking at 30 years for something he should not have been convicted of,” he said.
In the post-conviction litigation, lawyers for McIver argued the death of the man, Larry Shealy, was not a result of a drug McIver prescribed. Zeidenberg said Shealy likely died of heart disease. Floyd vacated two counts against McIver that made up the 30-year prison term.
Prosecutors, who had been seeking a 10-year prison term, could decide to challenge Floyd’s ruling on appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. An assistant U.S. attorney, William Watkins Jr., was not immediately reached for comment.