CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Friday, November 22, 2019

Beety on Opioid Use and Rurality

Valena Elizabeth Beety (Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law) has posted Prosecuting Opioid Use, Punishing Rurality (Ohio State Law Journal, Vol. 79, 2019) on SSRN. Here is the 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.

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