President Donald Trump’s administration is allegedly putting together a plan that says it will solve the opioid crisis – but it includes provisions that would allow giving some drug dealers the death penalty. The plan, which changes mandatory minimum sentences for drug traffickers and asks prosecutors to seek the death penalty in cases where drug dealers can be tied to fatal opioid overdoses, has been a long time coming; one of Trump’s campaign promises was to end the crisis that’s gripping large swaths of the country.
At one time, Trump praised Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte for his crackdown on drugs, although Duterte’s war on drugs has been extremely bloody and has garnered worldwide criticism.
Trump also suggested that his plan would include the possibility of suing “opioid companies.”
“Some countries have a very, very tough penalty, the ultimate penalty. And by the way, they have much less of a drug problem than we do. So we’re going to have to be very strong on penalties. Hopefully we can do some litigation against the opioid companies,” Trump said at the opioids summit. The president also said that there are no drug problems in Singapore and China because they have a “zero tolerance policy,” citing the fact that the two countries have the option to put drug dealers to death – a claim Politifact rates as true.
According to Rolling Stone, “When asked about Trump’s comments, some lawmakers brushed aside the president’s focus on the death penalty as mere campaign rhetoric, but many others were terrified at the underpinnings of his thinking. He’s reported to have been briefed on the extreme policies used in China and the Philippines, and now lawmakers fear he wants to amass the same power and actually execute drug dealers.”
Representative Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) is one of them. “Capital punishment is the most extreme of all, and for him to cavalierly throw it around in the manner that he does is very dangerous. It’s dangerous for our system, and it creates another foil for him,” Grijalva said.
What Do You Think?
Do you think drug dealers that can be connected to opiate overdoses should be given the death penalty? How do you feel about the way the president is modeling policy after China, Singapore and the Philippines? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please share them on my Facebook page or on Twitter.