Readshaw bill would extend statute of limitations for opioid delivery deaths

HARRISBURG, Sept. 21 – State Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, has introduced H.B. 1808, which would extend the statute of limitations on the crime of drug delivery that leads to a death.

A person who provides a drug to a victim that ultimately dies from the use of that drug currently must be charged within a two-year window. This bill would expand that window under the statute of limitations to five years.

“Too many families watch their loved ones die due to opioid overdoses,” Readshaw said. “The number of overdose deaths has been rising dramatically each year yet one of our best defenses in the drug battle is to remove dealers and distributors from the equation.

“Keeping that potential window open for a much longer timeframe gives police investigators and prosecutors more time to complete a thorough investigation to ensure the perpetrators are convicted and removed from the streets.

“The statute of limitations was previously five years but a change to another law inadvertently affected this specific situation and my bill aims to correct it.”

Readshaw said that Pennsylvania families are the front lines of the opiate epidemic in this Commonwealth, and this bill is an effort to again provide families with a longer opportunity for justice for their loved ones.