In 2018, Mission LISA and Health In Justice Action Lab partnered to conduct a study focused on understanding the country’s prosecution of drug-induced homicide cases. Their research used artificial intelligence and data analysts to cull through news and media articles and determine how often such charges were brought in different states. The report revealed that Pennsylvania leads the nation in the number of drug-induced homicide cases filed.
Drug-Induced Homicide Statistics in Pennsylvania
As of April 25, 2019, Pennsylvania filed 686 cases. That’s nearly 60% more than Ohio, which had pursued 402 drug-induced homicide charges.
According to the research conducted by Mission LISA and Heath In Justice Action Lab, 4 of the top 5 counties that pursue these types of cases are in Pennsylvania.
The county breakdown is as follows:
- Lancaster County, PA: 75
- York County, PA: 45
- Westmoreland County, PA: 42
- Bucks County, PA: 35
- McHenry County, IL: 35
Drug-Induced Homicide Defined
In Pennsylvania, drug-induced homicide is a felony offense, which is penalized by up to 40 years in prison. Legally called drug delivery resulting in death, the law seeks to punish individuals who sell or distribute controlled substances that result in the accidental death of another person.
Controversy Surrounding the Law
Such laws, which various states across the country enacted to address drug distribution and use, were established to target kingpins and other traffickers who were in the business of drug sales. However, with the present opioid crises in the U.S., recently, prosecutors have been pursuing legal action against individuals.
For example, in 2016, a Pennsylvania man ordered what he thought was Adderall from an online supplier. When his girlfriend asked if she could try it, he agreed. Unfortunately, the pills contained a lethal dose of fentanyl, which led to the woman’s death. The young man was charged with drug-induced homicide.
Although proponents of this legislation say that it deters drug selling and decreased overdose deaths, research suggests otherwise.
Speak with Our Attorney at the Law Offices of William D. Thompson – Your Initial Consultation Is Free
A drug crimes conviction could have a substantial impact on your freedom and future. If you’re facing criminal allegations, contact our skilled attorney for legal representation. Backed by 15 years of experience, we know how to build effective defenses and fight the prosecutor’s case. We offer personalized service to thoroughly understand your circumstances and develop an innovative strategy for your unique needs.