BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The Baker-Polito administration is focused on curbing the deadly opioid and heroin epidemic in Massachusetts.
On Wednesday, they proposed a bill to allowing police to bring manslaughter charges against people who sell drugs that kill the user.
According to the legislative reform package, someone who is convicted of manslaughter for illegal distribution of dangerous drugs is held to the same standard as someone who takes an innocent life while driving under the influence.
The illegal distribution of drugs resulting in death would carry a minimum sentence of 5 years in prison.
Joseph Chappell of Enfield told 22News, “I think it’s important to make the criminals who are selling the drugs to other people more accountable for their actions. I think it’s one way to discourage people from making those mistakes. If there’s no serious consequence, why wouldn’t you keep doing it?”
Mathew Livermore of Ludlow noted, “It’s good to see people starting to treat it like a violent crime, because it tends to have that effect on neighborhoods and communities. So, treating it accordingly is the right thing to do.”
According to Baker, the bill would eliminate the need for Massachusetts to amend state law every time a new drug needs to be prohibited.