Drug Dealers Are Murderers

by Kerry Dougherty

If you thought Virginia lawmakers wouldn’t be able to reverse some of the damage done by the past two administrations, next winter’s session may ease your mind.

Governor Glenn Youngkin announced this week that he wants the law to change so that prosecutors can charge drug dealers with murder when their wares kill people. This should be easy!

In 2019 the General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan bill to do just that. In fact, every single Senator voted for it. The measure passed the General Assembly on February 23, 2019. On May 2nd then-Governor Ralph Northam vetoed it.

Governor Ralph Northam has vetoed a bill that Virginia lawmakers passed with bipartisan support to let prosecutors charge drug dealers with homicide for fatal overdoses.

House Bill 2528 amended Virginia’s laws to let anyone who distributes controlled substances to someone who later dies from use of those substances be charged with causing that person’s death.

The bill, which was supported by prosecutors across Virginia and by Attorney General Mark Herring, passed the House on a 69-30 vote and the Senate on a 40-0 vote…

Under current law, a drug dealer would be charged in the death of a customer only if the overdose happened at the time and place of the deal.

Northam was notoriously soft on crime. His parole board freed a number of murderers and even one cop killer. He himself waffled about crime saying he was in favor of second chances.

Second chances?

By the time they’re locked up in the state pen most felons are on their 4th, 5th or 20th chance.

Fortunately, there’s a new sheriff — er, governor — in the commonwealth who doesn’t side with Virginia’s criminals over victims and he’s promised to sign the bill the minute it hits his desk. His attorney general is also committed to prosecuting drug dealers to the fullest extent of the law.

When I texted him yesterday, Attorney General Jason Miyares told me that there are between 4 and 7 fatal overdoses a day. Many caused by more “benign” drugs laced with deadly amounts of fentanyl.

“A drug dealer would be guilty of felony homicide – second degree murder – if they manufacture, sell, gift, or distribute a controlled substance classified as Schedule I or II that results in a fatal overdose,” Miyares said. “Dealers who lace drugs with fentanyl might as well be using rat poison. The intention behind this bill is to effectively address the evil drug dealers who profit from our own communities’ devastation.”

On Tony Macrini’s morning radio show Thursday Miyares said that some dealers increase their street cred with ODs because it shows they’re marketing the strong stuff. That’s what the junkies want.


A teenage girl in Northern Virginia died, Miyares said, when she thought she was taking a Xanax but was given a pill containing fentanyl instead.

Northam didn’t want the scum responsible for killing innocents like her prosecuted for murder.

Youngkin does.

Elections have consequences. Crime is on the ballot again.

Just 11 days until the mid-terms.

Vote accordingly.

This column has been republished with permission from Kerry: Unemployed & Unedited.