A county coroner in Pennsylvania has started ruling heroin overdose deaths as homicides, saying drug dealers are murderers.
Lycoming County Charles Kiessling Jr. had been marking overdose deaths as accidental, which he called standard practice, but said he’s trying to raise awareness of a heroin epidemic that contributed to a 13 percent increase in overdose deaths in Pennsylvania in one year.
Kiessling told The Daily Item of Sunbury:
“If you chose to sell heroin, you’re killing people and you’re murdering people. You’re just as dead from a shot of heroin as if someone puts a bullet in you.”
He has ruled one overdose death in 2016 as a homicide, with four others pending the results of toxicology testing.
Homicide is defined as a death caused by another person. Not all homicides are determined to be crimes, and the decision on whether charges should be filed is made by prosecutors.
Read the entire article | Coroner Starts Ruling Heroin Overdose Deaths As Homicides