Prosecuting Opioid Use, Punishing Rurality

25 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2019

See all articles by Valena Elizabeth Beety

Valena Elizabeth Beety

Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

Date Written: November 1, 2019

Abstract

The opioid crisis spotlights rural communities, and accompanying that bright light are long-standing, traditional biased tropes about backwards and backwoods White Appalachians. These stereotypes conflate rurality with substance use disorder as the next progression in dehumanizing stereotypes. Widespread attention to our nation’s use disorder crisis, however, also brings an opportunity to recognize these fallacious stereotypes and to look more closely at the criminal legal systems in rural communities. In this Article, I use drug-induced homicide — what has become a popular prosecutorial charge in response to the opioid crisis — as a prism to identify and critique the failings in rural criminal courts more broadly. This Article includes modest recommendations that acknowledge and respond to these inadequacies while attempting to preserve people’s constitutional rights and decrease opiate-related overdoses.

Keywords: rural, criminal, justice, opioid, crisis, overdose, courts, drug-induced homicide, prosecution

Suggested Citation

Beety, Valena Elizabeth, Prosecuting Opioid Use, Punishing Rurality (November 1, 2019). Ohio State Law Journal, Vol. 79, 2019. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3479478

Valena Elizabeth Beety (Contact Author)

Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law ( email )

Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States

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