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JUSTICE DEBATE WILL DICTATE PUNISHMENT FOR DEADLY DRUG DISTRIBUTORS

By Colin A. Young
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, NOV. 14, 2017.....Punishment for people who distribute drugs that cause the death of the user is shaping up as an issue that will have to be decided by House and Senate negotiators as the branches have taken divergent approaches in their criminal justice bills.

At least three proposals for punishing people who cause death by illegally distributing drugs have been proposed. The governor and House Republican leaders are aligned in their approach, a House member submitted his own proposal and the Senate has approved its own language.

Gov. Charlie Baker proposed, as part of a larger bill (S 2158), a penalty of up to life in prison and the requirement of a mandatory minimum sentence of at least five years. House Minority Leader Brad Jones and other GOP leaders filed that same language as an amendment to the House criminal justice bill (H 4011). Jones' amendment (# 121) has not yet been considered by the House.


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