- Associated Press - Friday, June 29, 2018

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Rhode Island’s governor has signed a bill that would allow life sentences for drug dealers who sell drugs that lead to fatal overdoes.

The measure, known as Kristen’s Law, had been opposed by some medical professionals and others who said it would excessively punish low-level dealers.

Gov. Gina Raimondo, in signing the bill Friday, issued a statement saying the version she signed is narrowly tailored, gives judges discretion in sentencing, does not include mandatory minimum sentences, and only targets drug dealers who are profiting on a public health crisis.

The governor’s office says more than 650 Rhode Islanders have died of a drug overdose in the past two years

The law is named for Kristen Coutu, who died in 2014 of a fentanyl overdose when she thought she was taking heroin.

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