A Chicago-area man has been sentenced to 18 years after the deaths of four of his customers due to overdose. The statute under which he was charged is meant to hold drug dealers accountable for the overdose deaths caused by their products. While the law makes sense in some ways, it fails to account for the millions of opioid deaths caused by pharmaceutical companies who lied about their product, facilitated its entry into the black market, and profited in the range of billions from the lives they destroyed. In some cases, these executive drug dealers are facing racketeering charges for knowingly funneling thousands of doses to locations with small populations. The orders to these locations were so large that even if every member of the community had a prescription, it would still be too much. These orders were, of course, diverted to the black market. Executives have faced criminal prosecutions based on what they knew or should have known about the orders. Nonetheless, not one of them is facing a first-degree reckless homicide charge.
Understanding the Law
The Chicago man has been charged under Wisconsin Statutes 940.02. The relevant portion of the statute reads as follows: