Harsher Penalties on Drug Crimes Due to Heroin-Opiate Deaths on the Rise
The ongoing opioid crisis is a national emergency and a genuine concern, to be sure. However, does it really call for the harsher treatment of drug crime defendants, especially those who are accused of committing a crime related to opiates, fentanyl, or heroin?
Nearly a year ago, in March of 2018, Donald Trump famously told the country he believed that some “drug dealers” should be sentenced to death for distributing street-level opioids. As combative as that statement may sound, Trump appears not to be alone in that sentiment. According to a report from the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) in November 2017, there has been a clear, recent increase in the use of drug-related homicide charges across the country. When someone overdoses on an illegally obtained drug, such laws allow murder or manslaughter charges to be filed against the person who provided the substance.
The underlying problem with Trump’s remark and the thought processes of prosecutors and judges handling drug offenses is an inherent ineffectiveness. The Drug Policy Alliance warned in its report that “there is no evidence to suggest that heightened punishment works” to deter people from committing drug crimes, or even to deter people from taking illegal drugs or abusing prescription painkillers. The only clear outcome of the heightened vigor to prosecute drug crimes is a pressured and overzealous criminal justice system that teeters away from relying on evidential facts and towards speculation instead.
(For more information about Trump’s call for capital punishment used in drug crime sentencing, you can click here to view a full article from The Guardian. You can also click here to view an article from The Crime Report about the DPA report.)
St. Louis Criminal Defense Attorneys On Your Side
Have you been charged with a drug crime related to an opiate, heroin, or fentanyl? You need to be aware that the courtroom might already be tilted out of balance and out of your favor due to sociopolitical pressures to stop the opioid crisis. Come to The Hammer Law Firm, LLC to speak with a talented team of dedicated St. Louis drug crime attorneys. All we do is criminal defense, and we do it well.