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Death Penalty for Certain Drug Dealers? A Solution Suggested by the President

President Donald J. Trump has taken a hands-on approach to combating the opioid crisis in America, and at a recent rally revealed his latest idea for resolving the problem: the death penalty.

Trump said he was inspired by his visit to China, which has the death penalty for certain drug crime offenders. His plans for increased drug penalties in the United States include more severe penalties for high-intensity drug traffickers, which could include the death penalty in certain cases.

Those familiar with proposed federal approach to drug enforcement say President Trump has a three-pronged plan that focuses on law enforcement, prevention and education. The Trump administration is also seeking additional funding for treatment and aid for those impacted by the opioid epidemic, allowing them to find jobs while battling their addiction. Congress recently set aside $6 billion specifically for fighting the opioid epidemic.

A significant change in approach

Currently, the death penalty is not an option in drug crime cases that do not involve violence. Individuals running major interstate and international drug manufacturing and trafficking organizations are subject to other significant penalties, including life in prison. However, a Trump administration spokesperson recently said the “the punishment doesn’t fit the crime” for these offenders.

As a means of garnering support for the proposal, Trump told a rally audience in Pennsylvania that a drug dealer will kill “2,000, 3,000, 5,000 people during the course of his or her life.”

It remains to be seen whether Congress will back any changes that would allow for the death penalty in drug trafficking cases. To learn more about your options when facing serious drug charges in Pennsylvania, speak with experienced Reading criminal defense attorney David R. Eshelman.


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