The late Derek Boogaard and another former hockey player who sold him painkillers were both victims of a sports world that "did not consider the consequence of supplying large quantities of addictive pain medications to their players."
That's what a federal judge in New York said Thursday as she sentenced Jordan Hart to a drug possession punishment that does not include prison time, Newsday reports.
Hart is a former minor league hockey player who acknowledges selling painkillers to Boogaard a couple of weeks before the former Wild enforcer died of an accidental overdose in 2011.
Both players had long used opioid drugs to deaden the pain from years of hockey injuries.
Arguments for and against jail time
His lawyers reminded Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald in a court filing that Hart has not been tied to Boogaard's death – largely because he provided different painkillers than the Oxycontin that combined with alcohol to become fatal for Boogaard.
Prosecutors had argued in favor of jail time, though, saying that Hart contributed to Boogaard's addiction.
Boogaard's father, Lee, wrote in a victim impact statement: "Jordan contributed to Derek's death and must face the consequences of his choice to sell drugs to my son and likely many others."
Hart originally faced drug selling charges that could have led to 20 years in prison, the New York Times says, but in a plea bargain he admitted to misdemeanor drug possession.
Seller was addicted, too
Jason Hart, like Boogaard, had developed an addiction to painkillers he began taking for hockey injuries, the Associated Press reports.
Newsday says Hart told the court that since criminal charges were filed against him in 2014 he had been portrayed in public as Boogaard's murderer, had lost his job and his wife but has conquered his addiction.
Judge Buchwald handed down a sentence that includes a year of community service educating the public about painkiller addiction. According to Newsday Buchwald said of Hart: “His life is now on track and this court sees no reason to derail it.”