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Supporting House Bill 2797, also known as "Taylor's Law"
A push to enhance the punishment for someone who unlawfully delivers a controlled substance that results in another's death.
On March 7, Hillsboro Police Sergeant Sommer Andersen testified at a public hearing before the Oregon House Committee on Judiciary in support of HB2797, also known as “Taylor’s Law.”
“Taylor’s Law” is named after Taylor Martinek, who died at the age of 24 on January 14, 2017. Taylor attended Jesuit High School in Washington County, Oregon where he played football. His talents allowed him to play with Portland State University. During his football career, Taylor suffered a shoulder injury that required surgery. Doctors prescribed Taylor opiates to manage the pain, but he became addicted.
While assigned to the Westside Interagency Narcotics (“WIN”) Team as a Detective, Sergeant Andersen investigated Taylor Martinek’s drug overdose death in January 2017. The WIN team collected the pills found next to Taylor, and sent them to the crime lab for analysis. The pills were counterfeit, but had been created to look like actual Xanax and oxycodone pills. The pills that appeared to be Xanax contained synthetic opiate U-47700, and the pills that looked like oxycodone were furanyl fentanyl, another potent synthetic opiate.
Many people testified on March 7, including the Martinek family and many family members and friends of others who have died of drug overdoses. Washington County Chief Deputy District Attorney Jeff Lesowski, and Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Travis Sewell also testified in support of HB2797, as both had prosecuted lower-level dealers linked to Taylor’s death.
There is no law currently available that would enhance the punishment for someone who delivers a controlled substance that results in someone’s death. As currently proposed, “Taylor’s Law” would require a sentence of 58 to 130 months in prison after a person is convicted of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance that results in the death of another person who used the controlled substance. You can learn more about the proposed law at the following links: