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Seminole leads in prosecuting overdose deaths as murder. Some fear tactic will backfire

Seminole leads in prosecuting overdose deaths as murder. Some fear tactic will backfire

As Seminole County continues to lead the state in prosecuting overdose deaths as murder cases, pinning a possible life in prison sentence on the person who provided or sold the fatal drugs, some have started to question the effect on the community. Public defenders and drug policy experts say the charges have not targeted high-level drug dealers, often low level sellers who are addicts themselves, or friends who happened to provide the fentanyl-laced heroin, unbeknownst to them. They also say these prosecutions encourage people not to call 911 during an overdose, fearing a murder charge, and don't stop the flow of drugs into the community. But Seminole County prosecutors and law enforcement -- who are now helping steer other regions policy on overdose investigations, like in Orlando --have said this is just one aspect of their response to the opioid epidemic

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