Valena E. Beety on the Overdose/Homicide Epidemic

Wed Oct 03 2018 (26:39)

Valena E. Beety, Professor of Law at West Virginia University College of Law and Director of the West Virginia Innocence Project, discusses her draft paper "The Overdose/Homicide Epidemic." Beety explains that many states allow prosecutors to charge drug overdose deaths as homicides, if the drugs were provided by someone else, often with mandatory minimum sentences as long as 20 years. And she observes that elected coroners may exacerbate the problem, by making findings that enable prosecutors to charge overdoses as homicides more easily.