- Associated Press - Saturday, September 6, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is supporting a bill that would boost criminal penalties for drug dealers found guilty of contributing to overdose deaths.

The proposal by State Rep. Jim Butler, a Republican from Oakwood in suburban Dayton, would expand the definition of murder to include defendants who play a role in an overdose death through drug trafficking.

The legislation calls for life in prison with parole after 25 years if the victim is an adult and 30 years if the victim is a juvenile.

DeWine says the bill would provide a much-needed criminal deterrent and make drug dealers accountable for their role in overdose deaths.

The state has struggled for several years to deal with an opiate addiction crisis, starting with prescription painkillers and then heroin.

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