Revised Death by Distribution Law Brings Relief to Victims’ Families

Advocates and law enforcement in North Carolina’s fight against opioids are hailing a new piece of legislation as a significant win. Governor Cooper ratified a modified version of SB 189 on Thursday. enacting stronger punishments for those who provide and deal in illegal narcotics.

North Carolina Amends Law to Strengthen Penalties for Drug-Related Fatalities

According to the amended bill, death by distribution is considered a Class C crime. Criminal penalties will be more severe for drug traffickers and those whose substances cause fatalities. Additionally, it makes charging those individuals simpler because prosecutors only need to demonstrate that the narcotics were “delivered” rather than a transaction.

This proves that the families who contributed to improving the law did so successfully. And it implies that future victims of loss of a loved one will have a higher chance of receiving justice. said Barbara Walsh, executive director of the North Carolina Fentanyl Victims Network.

In August 2021, Walsh lost her daughter Sophia to fentanyl. and established the Victims Network to support affected families in obtaining justice as well as to promote legislation like the updated SB 189.

“It’s unbelievable that law enforcement could provide you with this information. You simply enter a very dark hole after going into shock. Some folks never leave after you’ve been there for a time, said Walsh.

The same emotion is experienced by Lynelle Esposito.

Revised Law Offers Hope for Families Affected by Drug Overdoses in North Carolin

“It’s challenging. It’s difficult merely to look at my daughter,” Esposito added. In October 2021, she lost her daughter Gabriela to fentanyl at a party close to NC State. She is now fighting for legislation similar to this as well.

Esposito stated, “I just want Gabriela to know I’m not quitting, I’m not a quitter.

The revamped bill is being hailed as a game changer by law enforcement. Eddie Caldwell is the NC Sheriffs’ Association’s representative. and thinks it will save lives in addition to serving as a deterrent to drug traffickers and dealers.

“The precise number of lives saved may never be known. It doesn’t matter, though, if we save only one life; that’s significant to both the individual and their family, Caldwell said.

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