NY Senate OKs homicide charges in fatal overdose cases

Opioid and heroin dealers whose products cause a fatal overdose could be charged with homicide under a measure passed by the New York state Senate.

Posted: Mar. 22, 2018 10:27 AM

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Opioid and heroin dealers whose products cause a fatal overdose could be charged with homicide under a measure passed by the New York state Senate.

The chamber passed the bill Wednesday. It now moves to the state Assembly, where it is expected to face opposition.

The legislation is known as Laree's Law, after Laree Lincoln, an Albany County teen who died of a fatal overdose in 2013.

Supporters say that tougher criminal penalties would better reflect the seriousness of the opioid epidemic. They say the proposal would target mid- and high-level dealers, and not addicts who share or give drugs to another user who later overdoses.

Similar legislation passed the Senate last year but not the Assembly. Critics say prevention and treatment are better ways of deterring addiction.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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