On December 10, 2011, I was convicted in [name of city] Superior Court of murder by reckless indifference. My crime was selling illegal club-drugs I had mixed in my own lab. The drugs turned out to be toxic, and killed four people. The dead were two men of 25, another man of 27, and then a woman of 30, who bought the drugs from me and resold some of it at a rave, where all four died. Because selling the drugs themselves was illegal, I was charged with all four deaths under the “felony murder rule”, and sentenced to life in prison. I turn 18 years old today.
It was not my intent to murder my customers. I was in the business for the money. But it turns out that some of the ingredients I used were contaminated. I could have tested them but I had bought them from the same supplier before without any trouble. Since the ingredients were themselves legal, the person who sold me the bad stuff only got a fine and short jail sentence.
Now my life is ruined. I definitely blame myself for cutting corners, but I also blame the stupidity of my customers. What little respect did they have for their own lives to buy, from a van parked in an alleyway, a chemical cooked by someone they didn’t know, just so they could get high and have a good time? I also blame the law. If these drugs were legal and regulated, buyers would never come to street dealers like me. They would buy a safer product in stores, where it would be taxed and an ID required. But they will always buy them from someone, somewhere, like Romeo bribing that apothecary who sold him poison. Did that starving man deserve the death penalty that was on the books then? Did I deserve life in prison? No, we didn’t.