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Abstract

(Excerpt)

You are a Chicago, Illinois resident, walking your dog when you trip over a crack in the pavement and break your arm. You need surgery. After surgery, your doctor gives you a one-month prescription of opioids. Just one little pill has the ability to make all of your pain magically disappear and allow you to function as though you had never even fallen. Near the end of your limited prescription, the pain fails to disappear as easily, and the high does not last quite as long as it once did. There are zero refills remaining. Suddenly, you find yourself craving the drugs and, while you try to fight that craving, you cannot help yourself. You are addicted. You turn to the streets to purchase drugs like cocaine and heroin. You make new friendships with people who share your addiction. Many times, they too became addicted as a result of medically prescribed opioids.

One night, you purchase just enough heroin to share with your friend. You both inject a portion of the heroin. She did not pay you for her share, and you simply picked up and delivered the drugs. That night, she begins to overdose. You immediately call 911 in an effort to save her life. Despite your efforts, your friend did not survive. Local law enforcement investigates the death as a possible homicide and discovers text messages between you and your friend. The messages reveal that you were the one who brought the heroin to her that day. Now, you are charged and convicted with drug-induced homicide for the death of your friend because you obtained and gave her the drugs that killed her. In Illinois, you could be facing up to sixty years in prison. Two lives end that day: your friend’s and your own.

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