Homicide by Heroin

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Same judge.

Same man before the judge.

Same prison sentence.

Brian Burt today received five years for giving heroin to a man who ending up dying from the drug.

Last week, across the Columbia River in Benton County, Superior Court Judge Robert Swisher sentenced Burt to five years for homicide by controlled substance. Burt had pleaded guilty to supplying heroin to a second man who also died from overdose.

Prosecutors say in all, Burt caused the deaths of five people. He knew the heroin was killing his friends, but prosecutors say Burt continued to deal the drug because he needed money to feed his own addiction.

“Brian Burt remorselessly murdered my son,” Christine Bradley said in a statement read in the courtroom. “I hope he is never allowed to ever walk among others, but if and when he is allowed … never let him out of your sight.”

 In a plea agreement with the Benton and Franklin Counties prosecutors, Burt will serve the sentences concurrently.

 Judge Swisher recommended Burt take advantage of drug treatment programs available in prison, “But I can’t force someone to get treatment. You have to want it. It’s up to you, Mr. Burt, but you’re responsible for deaths. That would seem to be an incentive.”

 Before Swisher signed off on the sentence he said, “People who want to legalize drugs should speak to families affected by drugs. They should speak to addicts.”



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4 responses to “Homicide by Heroin

  1. Judy Arndt

    I’m the “two thumbs up” person (was not intending the comment to be anonymous) and I could not disagree more with Lenora Good. There is something wrong with a society that spends millions, maybe billions of dollars campaigning against the use of cigarettes but says drugs are all right. Kids say all the time that cigarettes must be okay otherwise the government would take them off the market. Well, I guess drugs must be okay, too, or people would not be discussing legalizing them. The hard fact is that drugs destroy lives. Period. And it doesn’t matter if the destruction of that life is legal and sanctioned or not. A few other European countries have also legalized drugs and the unfortunate result of that is that a couple of those countries are a mess and yes, it did have to do with the legalization of drugs. Back to cigarettes: are they less enticing to kids because they are legal? Absolutely not. Do you think drugs will be less enticing to them because they’ve been legalized? I don’t think so! Alcohol – oh yeah! Kids don’t go for that – after all, it’s legal so it’s just not cool.

    I realize drug addiction costs us all a lot of money in terms of crime, etc. But legalizing them would also cost us all a lot of money. We all pay for the addict’s habit one way or the other. I’d rather have my money used to fight addiction than to support it.

    • I think Judy hit one of the nails square on the head – the money aspect. Who loses the most if drugs are legalized? It’s not the user, or you, or me; it’s the cartels who supply the drugs. They pour billions of dollars into the economy to keep drugs illegal. Hmmm, that’s not all bad, then, is it? 😉

  2. I’m thinking the UK legalized drugs several years ago, and the number of addicts dropped drastically. Also, those who want the drugs, get clean drugs from their local pharmacist. Far fewer deaths. Oh, one of the reasons the number of addicts dropped off? It was no longer ‘cool’ to do drugs – they were legit. Admittedly, my information is a few years old, and things may have changed. But if our drugs were legal, there would not only be fewer deaths due to bad drugs, but fewer cases of illness due to needle sharing. And a lot of empty cells.

  3. Anonymous

    Two thumbs up for Swisher.

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