The Doctors discuss the case of a mother who is asking that her son's drug dealer be held accountable for her son's death.
The woman's son was reportedly sold a fatal combination of heroin and fentanyl and the mom wants the dealer to be charged with murder. Attorney Areva Martin joins The Doctors to weigh in on this complicated situation.
"There's something called 'but for' causation in the law. And as you know, a lot of individuals who have drug addictions, they have a lot of health problems. So they may have comprised organs or other medical problems. And even if you can pinpoint that a drug dealer sold this person the drugs and they die of an overdose, the question is, but for the drug that the person took, would they have died? And that becomes a difficult question for prosecutors," she says, explaining that 20 states have drug-induced homicide laws, meaning dealers can be charged with homicide if causation can be proved.
Areva says she feels these cases are difficult to prosecute and that there are arguments on both sides She adds, "This drug epidemic, we can't solve it in the criminal justice system, this is a health-related issue and the law can only go so far."
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction please call the confidential and free National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP or visit their website.