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GOP-backed legislation would make fentanyl deaths first-degree murder

Fentanyl dealers tied to overdose death could soon face the death penalty in Arizona under a new Republican proposal.

Senate Bill 1029 would expand the state’s first-degree murder statute to include death by fentanyl if the drug can be linked to a specific individual.

In Arizona, first-degree murder is punishable by life in prison or the death penalty.

Fentanyl has been partially credited for a recent increase in overdose deaths both nationally and locally, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

However, critics say the bill doesn’t do anything to address overdose deaths or the ongoing Fentanyl epidemic.

SB1029 passed the Senate Tuesday and will now head to the state House of Representatives.