Ex-Synthes exec Walsh said to be withdrawing appeal

Former Synthes executive John Walsh was on the road to appealing his five-month prison sentence for involvement in an illegal clinical trial of bone cement, which was used by surgeons during back operations, three of which ended in patients dying on the table.

However, in a Tuesday court filing, one of his attorneys said Walsh is reconsidering whether to appeal his sentence.

Though Walsh did not speak at his sentencing hearing Nov. 21, his attorneys were among the first and most ardent in arguing that Walsh's First Amendment rights were infringed upon by the government prosecuting him and three other executives for promoting the bone cement even though it had not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The First Amendment line of thought stems from this past summer when the Supreme Court ruled in another case that pharmaceutical companies and other business have rights to market their products. Walsh's defense team even added an attorney who specializes in appeals court arguments.

However, Walsh did plead guilty and his sentence was within the guidelines of federal sentencing rules.

And that new attorney, Jeremy C. Marwell, filed Tuesday's letter to the court, asking for time for Walsh to file his formal withdrawal.

"I write to bring to the Court's attention that Mr. Walsh now wishes to withdraw his appeal," Marwell said in the filing.