The heightened concern that New Jersey lawmakers had regarding bath salts was the result of a murder case. The case involved a young man believed to have been under the influence of bath salts.
Originally, many speculated that the young man had killed his girlfriend and wasn't completely aware of his actions. Bath salts, considered "legal meth" by its users, provides a high similar to the one found when using methamphetamines. But a drug test now shows that the young man did not have any of bath salts in his system when he was arrested in connection with the killing.
Earlier this year, New Jersey law enforcement began to investigate the murder of the young woman who was a student at Rutgers. Their main focus was the young woman's boyfriend, a fellow college student who reportedly struggled in the past with substance abuse and a mental illness. He was charged earlier this month with first-degree murder.
It was suspected that he had been using bath salts for the several months leading up to his girlfriend's death and that the chemicals could have played a role in the killing. This caused legislators to pass a law prohibiting the sales of these bath salts as well as ban the substance in the state.
While many still posit that the use of bath salts can be dangerous, this young man may be facing more severe penalties because there was no trace of the drug in his system. Now prosecutors may argue that the man fully understood his actions and that he should be held responsible for them.
While a murder charge can result in severe penalties such as a life sentence in prison, any type of criminal charge should be taken seriously. The implications of a conviction are far-reaching and may change the course of a person's life. Those who find themselves facing criminal charges should discuss their situation with someone who understands the criminal justice system. This can help protect the accused person's rights and future.
Source: The Star-Ledger: "Cranford man charged with murdering girlfriend; Toxicology report shows no trace of 'bath salts'," David Giambusso, Sept. 2, 2011