IC 35-42-1-1.5, “Dealing in a controlled substance resulting in death,” was adopted in 2018 and was recently used to charge a man in Marion County with dealing resulting in death. The statute provides that:
(a) A person who knowingly or intentionally manufactures or delivers a controlled substance or controlled substance analog… that, when the controlled substance is used, injected, inhaled, absorbed, or ingested, results in the death of a human being who used the controlled substance, commits dealing in a controlled substance resulting in death, a Level 1 felony.
A level 1 felony carries a sentence of 20 to 40 years, and this particular statute was passed with House Bill 1359. It is yet to be seen how aggressively this particular legislation will be used by prosecutors, but the apparent intent is to create incentives against dealing drugs. We are skeptical that this law will have a positive impact, but it will almost certainly be wielded as another tool by prosecutors in the increasingly intrusive “war on drugs.”