Trump's New Opioid Plan to Seek Death Penalty for Drug Traffickers

Posted: Mar 19, 2018 8:40 AM
Trump's New Opioid Plan to Seek Death Penalty for Drug Traffickers

President Trump’s plans to crack down on the opioid epidemic include seeking the death penalty for drug dealers and urging members of Congress to enact tougher sentencing laws for drug traffickers, according to Reuters. 

The president will unveil his plans Monday during an event in New Hampshire, which he has previously referred to as a “drug-infested den.”

“New Hampshire is one of the hardest hit states by the opioid overdose crisis,” White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, who is overseeing the administration’s efforts to combat opioids, said during a Sunday briefing. “The opioid crisis is viewed by us at the White House as a nonpartisan problem searching for bipartisan solutions.”

His policy is expected to focus on cracking down on drug distribution […] as well as on prevention and rehabilitation. His administration also aims to cut the number of opioid prescriptions by one-third over the next three years. […]

Trump on Monday is planning to call on Congress to pass legislation to make it easier to impose mandatory minimum sentences on those who distribute illegal opioids. His administration would also screen every federal inmate for opioid addiction at intake and would facilitate access to treatment services prior to and while at residential reentry centers. (Boston Globe)

Trump has long called for tougher penalties against drug dealers and last week suggested seeking the death penalty for these crimes was on his mind.

“We have pushers and we have drug dealers that don’t — I mean, they kill hundreds and hundreds of people, and most of them don’t even go to jail,” he said during a White House meeting on the opioid crisis. “You know, if you shoot one person, they give you life, they give you the death penalty. These people can kill 2,000, 3,000 people and nothing happens to them.”

But on Sunday administration officials declined to go into detail about which types of cases the death penalty would be sought.

“The Department of Justice will seek the death penalty against drug traffickers when it’s appropriate under current law,” said Andrew Bremberg, director of Trump’s Domestic Policy Council, while detailing the plan. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2016 alone more than 42,000 people died from opioids nationwide.