CITIZEN VOICES® Citizens divided on whether drug dealers should be charged with second degree murder – 517 citizens

Dec 09, 2015

Recently, New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph Foster announced that his office would begin charging drug dealers with second-degree murder if the drugs they sold resulted in an overdose death. Read more about this issue. On March 18, Citizens Count, NH’s Live Free or Die Alliance decided to put the issue to its Facebook members, posting the question, “Do you support charging drug dealers with second-degree murder for selling drugs that lead to an overdose death?”

Should drug dealers be charged with murder for overdoses?

Drug Dealer Murder Charges New Hampshire Citizen Voices Chart

Participation: 517 participants gave 835 responses.

A total of 84% of those participating gave a ‘yes or no’ response to the question. The remaining 16% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a ‘yes or no’ response. In total, 517 individuals from New Hampshire contributed a total of 835 responses or reactions to this question. Click here for details on our methodology.

What Participants Said

No: A majority, at 55% of ‘yes or no’ respondents, were opposed to charging drug dealers with second-degree murder. 

  • “You don't blame the guy who sells someone a knife when a person gets stabbed and you don't blame the guy in a gun shop when someone gets shot.”
  • “A slippery slope... If this were good logic, then gun salespeople could be charged with murder if the gun they sold illegally kills someone—hardware store rope salesperson, vodka salespeople, etc.”

Yes:  The minority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 45%, were in favor of charging drug dealers with second-degree murder.  

  • “What if doctors overprescribed and created 1-2 deaths per week? Do you think they should get charged? Yes.”
  • “My cousin died from an overdose and I would love to see his dealer in prison, [but] she is still selling dope to everyone and will probably be responsible for killing more people in the future.”

Other: As noted above, 6% of those participating did not give a ‘yes or no’ response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. These included:  

  • Arguing that doctors and pharmaceutical companies should be treated like "drug dealers". 
  • Whether punishments actually work as a deterrant to drug dealers and other criminals.

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes. 

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