On Jan. 25, 2014, our daughter, Lizzie, died of a heroin overdose. She fell asleep on the couch of a young man who had sold her the drug at no profit, had consumed some himself and who fell asleep as well.
Lizzie never woke up. When he woke up and couldn’t rouse her, he called the police. He was later arrested and charged with “delivery of drugs leading to death,” a serious felony.
The district attorney, Stacy Parks Miller, insisted on pushing for this charge and a stiff sentence. We wanted him to be treated as an addict rather than a criminal. We do not blame him for Lizzie’s death. We believe that addiction is a difficult and deadly disease that needs to be treated, not punished.
Parks Miller would not listen to our repeated and outspoken desires to focus the sentence on treatment rather than punishment. The young man was convicted and is serving four to 12 years in state prison, a year or two less than he would have gotten without our advocacy and if the DA had had her way.
Prosecutors have a tremendous amount of discretion as to who gets charged and for what. We believe it is time for a change of district attorney to one who will focus on what is best for victims and their families, for addicts, for restorative justice and for our communities. That is why we support Bernie Cantorna for district attorney.
Ken and Bonnie Kline