Under Georgia law, a person commits murder by either (1) causing the death of another person with malice aforethought (malice murder) or (2) when in the commission of a felony causes the death another person (felony murder).

This bill seeks to add a third type of murder, that of drug induced homicide. Under the bill, a person commits drug induced homicide when their manufacture or distribution of fentanyl or a schedule II drug containing fentanyl or any derivative thereof causes the death of another person. Like malice murder and felony murder, the offense of drug induced homicide carries a mandatory life sentence or the death penalty.

The ACLU strongly opposes this bill. This bill would (1) make Georgia less safe by significantly increasing overdose deaths, as similar laws have done in other states; (2) tear up communities as elsewhere as many as half of these prosecutions are against family members who are in the home with someone who overdoses; (3) undermine the criminal legal system by requiring a mandatory life sentence instead of allowing a judge to fashion a sentence which fits the crime; and (4) will further drive the prison crisis in Georgia by creating a new mandatory life sentence for a drug offense.



House Second Readers



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