Draconian Drug-Induced Homicide Laws

Friday, February 19, 2016

Last week we wrote about caution to heroin dealers from prosecutors. If you sell heroin to someone which results in a fatal overdose you may be looking at a over 20 years in prison. It turns out that you may not have to be a heroin dealer to receive a life sentence after all. A man in Louisiana was given a life sentence for injecting his girlfriend with heroin that resulted in an overdose death, Fox19 reports. The stiff sentence raises a lot of questions about culpability.

The case of Jarret McCasland, 27, is not simple. While the man has a history of selling drugs, he did not sell the heroin that resulted in the death of his girlfriend Flavia Cardenas, 19. Nevertheless, 19th Judicial District Judge Don Johnson gave McCasland the maximum sentence possible for a second degree murder charge.

“There are two consenting adults who were using drugs,” said McCasland’s attorney, J. Rodney Messina. “this thing could have flip-flopped. He could have been the one that’s six feet under, and then they would be prosecuting Miss Cardenas.” 

We know for act that treating addiction with jails and prison is not effective in deterring drug use, and it certainly does not cure addiction. In recent years, in the wake of the American opioid epidemic, we have seen a dramatic change in how lawmakers look at addiction. Many of which now believe that treatment is the most effective weapon for fighting addiction. Apparently, lawmakers in some parts of the country did not receive the memo. A drug policy reformist at Roosevelt University, Kathie Kane-Willis, contends that draconian drug-induced homicide laws need to be changed, according to The Fix.

 “It may seem like a kinder gentler war on drugs and perhaps for folks in urban areas that is the case,” said Kane-Willis. “In the Midwest and the South that is not the case at all, in fact we are seeing really disturbing trends in the ways that these cases are being handled.”

Keep in mind, If you or a loved one is battling opioid addiction, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea. We can help you learn how to live free from addiction and begin your journey of recovery.

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