NORTH LITTLE ROCK (KATV) — Gov. Sanders signed what is called a "Death by delivery" bill into law, which allows the state to charge people who traffic Fentanyl with murder and sentence them to life in prison, if convicted.
Alyssa Norman was just 26 years old when her life was taken too soon from a Fentanyl overdose.
"Just beginning her life," said North Little Rock Officer Tommy Norman, Alyssa Norman's father. "She impacted a lot of people just by her smile, her personality, and by her spirit. She cared about everyone before she cared about herself"
In 2021, he received a call that his daughter had passed away.
He said it was the darkest day of his life and the world lost a shining light.
"It was like the devil in disguise had come in and just took this life away from this beautiful 26-year-old young lady who I was so proud to call my daughter," said Norman. "She had so much more to offer this world, she had so much more to offer herself.”
Violators, if convicted, could receive no less than 25 years and no more than life in prison, with a fine of up to one million dollars.
Norman said when he heard about the concept, he was immediately on board.
"Hopefully now that will get the message out to the drug dealers, to the distributors of Fentanyl that the State of Arkansas and the people that run this state, they are taking Fentanyl very seriously," said Norman. "It has taken way too many lives and it is going to take more if we don’t take action soon.”
He said his life will never be the same but he hopes this law will save someone’s life and keep those responsible behind bars.
"It is also going to take these laws that are now in effect to be enforced and to take people off the streets," said Norman. "If I don’t get to see my daughter for the rest of my life, then the person that provides Fentanyl and makes that connection should never be able to see daylight for the rest of their life.”
Norman said he hopes that this will reduce the amount of Fentanyl being distributed on the streets and save a family from going through the same tragedy he faced.
According to the Arkansas Crime Lab, more than half of drug overdoses in Arkansas in 2021 were from Fentanyl, compared to 5 years prior when less than 3% of overdose deaths were from Fentanyl.