State Seeking Harsher Punishment for Dealers in Overdose Deaths

May 24, 2016

Credit Carol Robidoux

  A Nashua man is the latest New Hampshire resident to be held criminally liable for the overdose death of another person as part of an aggressive effort by the attorney general's office to hold drug dealers responsible for what they sell.

Twenty-seven-year-old Kevin Manchester is facing a 'death resulting' charge in the January overdose death of Michelle MacLeod. The charge carries up to a life sentence, just like murder. 

The AG's office has begun investigating roughly 40 deaths like MacLeod's in the past six months. That number is likely to grow after summer trainings to teach police to treat overdoses like crime scenes.

Critics say pursuing criminal charges against dealers, many of whom are addicts themselves, is a step in the wrong direction that continues a failed war on drugs.