Chief Assistant State Attorney Brian Fernandes said the charges against John Christensen, 61, of West Palm Beach, make him "potentially eligible" for execution, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Tuesday.
In filing court documents announcing their intention to seek the death penalty, Fernandes said "we want to make sure that we preserve our rights."
The prosecutor's death penalty committee will decide within the next month whether to pursue the punishment. Of the few cases in which physicians have been accused of killing their patients with drug overdoses, most of them have been charged with manslaughter.
Christensen, who had three offices on the east coast of Florida, was arrested in July after police looked into the deaths of 35 of his patients. The two counts of murder stem from Christensen prescribing oxycodone, methadone and anti-anxiety drugs to two patients who later overdosed.
Attorney Grey Tesh, who represented Christensen until last month, said it could be difficult for the state to convict the doctor. Tesh said one of the patients had taken other substances just before her death.