The United States Supreme Court will hear cases involving a heroin overdose and a shooting that took place during a drug deal, Reuters reports. Both defendants are appealing lengthy prison sentences.
In one case, Marcus Burrage was convicted in a federal court in Iowa of distributing heroin that led to a person’s death. In the second case, Justus Rosemond was convicted in a Utah federal court of aiding and abetting the use of a firearm during drug trafficking. The convictions were upheld on appeal, the article notes.
Burrage’s lawyers argued the government needs to show that the heroin that led to the death of Joshua Banka was more than just one potential cause of death. At Burrage’s trial, experts said Banka had also ingested other drugs at the time of his death. Burrage was sentenced to 20 years, which he is serving concurrently with a 20-year sentence for selling heroin.
Rosemond was convicted of four offenses related to a shooting that occurred during an unsuccessful drug deal. His lawyers say that in order for him to be convicted of the aiding and abetting defense, the government should have to prove he took some action to encourage use of a firearm. Rosemond was sentenced to 10 years, in addition to four years he received for other offenses.
Rulings are expected by the end of June, according to the article.