Document Two friends share drugs. One overdoses and dies. The other survives. Is that murder?Amid the deadliest drug crisis in history, America is often answering "yes" to that question. Prosecutors are increasingly treating overdose deaths as homicides, locking up drug dealers who sell fentanyl to people living with addiction — people who are often addicted themselves. Some see justice and accountability in convictions under so-called "death resulting" laws. Some see a new and widening front in America's failed War on Drugs. In Death Resulting, we hone in on one of these homicide cases and meet a young man facing a 20-year mandatory minimum sentence in federal prison for his friend's death. Along the way we examine the forces that shape that case — from a cycle of generational trauma and addiction to the racist origins and current impacts of these prosecutions.So...an accident — or a homicide? Our answer could shape how we address the deadliest overdose crisis in American history.
Document

Document

From New Hampshire Public Radio

Two friends share drugs. One overdoses and dies. The other survives. Is that murder?Amid the deadliest drug crisis in history, America is often answering "yes" to that question. Prosecutors are increasingly treating overdose deaths as homicides, locking up drug dealers who sell fentanyl to people living with addiction — people who are often addicted themselves. Some see justice and accountability in convictions under so-called "death resulting" laws. Some see a new and widening front in America's failed War on Drugs. In Death Resulting, we hone in on one of these homicide cases and meet a young man facing a 20-year mandatory minimum sentence in federal prison for his friend's death. Along the way we examine the forces that shape that case — from a cycle of generational trauma and addiction to the racist origins and current impacts of these prosecutions.So...an accident — or a homicide? Our answer could shape how we address the deadliest overdose crisis in American history.

Most Recent Episodes

Event: Behind the Scenes of Document with Jason Moon

Join NHPR's Jason Moon for a conversation about the reporting and production of Death Resulting, the latest season from NHPR's Document podcast. This free virtual event will be held at 7 pm ET on Wednesday, Feb. 23. Jason will be in conversation with NHPR's All Things Considered host Peter Biello. They'll discuss the work and research that went on behind the scenes on the project, and explore why the Document team wanted to tell this story. They'll also take questions from the audience. Join us! Tickets are complimentary, but you'll need a reservation. You can register here.

S1 Update: A First Look at the Laurie List

As you might remember, The List was all about secret lists of police officers. Officers who engaged in misconduct that could potentially be used to undermine their testimony in a trial. In The List, we talked why these lists were created in the first place, why some cops hate these lists, and why a lot of people think they shouldn't be secret. We focused largely on the story of New Hampshire's version of this kind of list, what's known around here as the Laurie List. And we asked: what would happen if the list was finally made public? But it was a question we didn't get to answer because – well, the Laurie List was still secret. We knew there were somewhere north of 250 names of police officers on it. But we didn't know which names. Until now.

Death Resulting E4: You Gotta Have an Opinion

Attorneys for the federal government and Josh collide in a dramatic courtroom debate that traces the history of Josh's family, the War on Drugs, and the ethics of death resulting laws themselves. In the end, a judge hands Josh a sentence. And we ask you to decide if this outcome is justice. Document is a production of New Hampshire Public Radio. More at nhpr.org/document.

Death Resulting E3: A Normal Member of Society

Death resulting laws seek to punish a single person — the drug dealer — for an overdose death. But the laws all but ignore what pushed that dealer into this terrible position in the first place. In this episode we tell the story of everything in Josh's life that pushed him into the hotel bathroom where Liz overdosed on drugs he gave her. And we examine a broader definition of "guilt" to find a system that failed Josh at every step of the way. Document is a production of New Hampshire Public Radio. More at nhpr.org/document.

Death Resulting E2: Launching A War

In 1986, racist fears and the death of a basketball star prompt Congress to lay down the legal foundation for the War on Drugs. Today most Americans see that war as a failure. But buried deep in that 35-year-old law was the death resulting law — a penalty little used until the opioid epidemic, and now disproportionately impacting people of color. Document is a production of New Hampshire Public Radio. More at nhpr.org/document.

Death Resulting E1: The Crime

An early morning drug deal in a hotel bathroom ends in tragedy. Josh is charged under the federal death resulting law — a new and growing strategy for prosecutors — and faces a sentence of two decades or longer. With little doubt that Josh would be found guilty, his attorney prepares a desperate case for the judge that the punishment doesn't fit the crime. Document is a production of New Hampshire Public Radio. More at nhpr.org/document.

Introducing Document S3: Death Resulting

In 2018, Josh Cook sold his friend some drugs. They shot up together. His friend overdosed and died. Some people see that as an accident. The government treated it as a homicide. So which is it? Your answer to that - our answer to that - will shape how we address the deadliest overdose crisis in American history. Document Season 3, Death Resulting, debuts Dec. 8, 2021 - subscribe now. More at nhpr.org/document.

Supervision Ep 5: Caleb

After putting Josh's story down for two years, Emily gets a tip that upends...just about everything. Document: Supervision is hosted and reported by Emily Corwin, produced by Jack Rodolico. Find out more at supervisionpodcast.org and if you'd like to make a donation so we can keep doing this kind of reporting,you can do that here.

Supervision Ep 4: Put It To Rest

Josh gets involved in a risky business and Emily grasps for answers when the story takes a fateful turn. Document: Supervision is hosted and reported by Emily Corwin, produced by Jack Rodolico. Find out more at supervisionpodcast.org and if you'd like to make a donation so we can keep doing this kind of reporting, you can do that here.

Supervision Ep 3: Losing Josh

Emily loses Josh (twice) and Josh walks a tightrope between prison and poverty. Document: Supervision is hosted and reported by Emily Corwin, produced by Jack Rodolico. Find out more at supervisionpodcast.org and if you'd like to make a donation so we can keep doing this kind of reporting, you can do that here.