South Carolina 6th Circuit Solicitor Candice Lively is advocating for stricter punishment for individuals who expose children to fentanyl, following a rise in such cases. Lively wants to make it an additional offense to expose children to fentanyl and hopes to introduce legislation at the next General Assembly. Currently, there are no laws specifically addressing exposing children to fentanyl, unlike methamphetamine. Lively emphasizes the danger of fentanyl, stating that allowing a child to come into contact with it is like giving them a loaded gun. Shaquira Speaks reported
In Chester, South Carolina, 6th Circuit Solicitor Candice Lively has expressed her concerns about the increasing number of arrests related to fentanyl, with at least one arrest occurring every month. Lively is advocating for stricter penalties for individuals who expose children to this dangerous drug. In many cases, these individuals are initially charged with offenses other than fentanyl, as it is often difficult to determine if the drug was pressed into a pill. Shockingly, Lively has even come across situations where children were residing in homes where drugs containing fentanyl were present, or where individuals were arrested for drugs that turned out to be fentanyl.
Lively’s determination to push for legislation on this matter stems from a heartbreaking case in Chester County. A 34-year-old woman named Joyce Stover left fentanyl within reach of her 11-month-old baby, resulting in the child ingesting a lethal amount of the drug. Tragically, the baby passed away, and Stover was subsequently sentenced to 35 years in prison. Lively found it challenging to convey to the jury the severity of the situation, emphasizing that even though the child did not exhibit physical signs of abuse, the neglect was just as dangerous. The fact that the child had access to a spoon contaminated with a lethal dose of fentanyl underscored the gravity of the situation.
While Governor Henry McMaster has signed a fentanyl trafficking bill that imposes stricter penalties for possession of four or more grams of the drug, there is currently no legislation in place regarding the exposure of children to fentanyl. Lively highlights the discrepancy, noting that there is a law pertaining to methamphetamine exposure but not for fentanyl. She stresses the urgency of addressing this issue, emphasizing that fentanyl is far more deadly than methamphetamine. Children unknowingly put their lives at risk when they come into contact with fentanyl, and Lively believes that an additional offense should be established for individuals who expose children to this hazardous substance.
Lively intends to propose legislation during the next General Assembly, and she believes that now is the opportune moment to prioritize the safety of all children by addressing the issue of fentanyl exposure. She highlights the grave danger associated with allowing children to come into contact with fentanyl, comparing it to handing them a loaded gun. Lively’s ultimate goal is to ensure that fentanyl is recognized as a substance that warrants additional legal consequences to protect the well-being of children.
Note: The paraphrased version above is written in American English..