Trump calls for death penalties for drug dealers as focus of opioids plan

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    Trumps policy rollout focuses on penalty for dealers and traffickers but doesnt propose new legislation to combat the crisis

    Donald Trump called on Monday for some drug dealer to receive the capital punishment in a new opioids policy rollout in New Hampshire, a country hard hit by the national crisis.

    ” We’re wasting our time if we don’t get tough with drug dealers, and that toughness includes the death penalty ,” mentioned Trump in typically combative style.

    He afterward added:” The ultimate penalty has to be the capital punishment. Maybe our country is not “re ready for” that, it’s possible, it’s possible .” Trump mentioned ” personally I can’t understand that” about those opposed to such drastic measures.

    Some states already accuse drug dealer with slaughter if patrons overdose. In Florida, people who furnish cocaine, heroin or the powerful opioid fentanyl to a person who dies from applying the medicine in question can be charged with first-degree slaying and be subject to either life in prison or death.

    Drug-induced homicide statutes, which emerged in the 1980 s, are being used more frequently because of the opioids crisis, according to a November 2017 report by the Drug Policy Alliance. However, there is no evidence that such laws reduce drug use.

    On Monday Trump was effectively sending a message to prosecutors to be harsher on drug dealer, who traffic in street medications like heroin as well as black market prescription painkillers, such as OxyContin, and various versions of the potent narcotic fentanyl. But he did not bellow specifically for legislation to expand use of the death penalty for federal medicine crimes.

    The justice department said here federal capital punishment is already available for limited drug-related offenses, including violations of the” drug kingpin” provisions of federal law.

    The us attorney general, Jeff Sessions, attended the event on Monday and sat next to Melania Trump. The DoJ afterwards issued a statement, mentioning:” At the Department of Justice, we have made ending the medicine epidemic a priority. We will continue to aggressively prosecute drug traffickers and we will use federal law to seek the capital punishment wherever appropriate .”

    Doug Berman, a statute prof at Ohio State University, said it was not clear federal death penalty for drug dealers, even for those whose product induces multiple demises, “wouldve been” constitutional. Berman said the issue would be litigated extensively and would have to be definitively decided by the supreme court.

    New Hampshire has been hit hard by the opioid crisis, a reality Trump recognise last August when he mentioned:” We have the medicine lords in Mexico that are knocking the hell out of our country. They are mailing narcotics to Chicago, Los Angeles, and to New York. Up in New Hampshire- I won New Hampshire because New Hampshire is a drug-infested den-[ it] is coming from the southern margin .”

    The comment induced offence in the country, with the Democratic senator Maggie Hassan responding:” Instead of insulting people in the throes of craving,[ Trump] needs to work across party lines to actually stem the tide of this crisis .”

    Though Trump is visiting to lobby for harsher sentencing for opioid-related misdemeanours, New Hampshire is one of many nations now pushing criminal justice reform.

    On Monday, the nation judiciary announced it is currently considering bail policies, after nationwide criticism of tribunals that serve as de facto debtor’s prisons for people too poor to pay bail.

    In 2012, substance use ailments such as opioid reliance expense New Hampshire $284 m in criminal justice expenses. More than half of incarcerate and prison expenditures in the state are attributed to drug abuse, according to a report by the advocacy group New Futures. Nationally, 76% of inmates are believed to have substance use diseases, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

    Trump, who aims to be seen as tough on misdemeanour, has persistently highlighted his preference for the” ultimate penalty” for drug dealers.

    At a Pennsylvania rally this month, Trump told advocates countries like Singapore have fewer issues such as drug addiction because they harshly punish dealers. He argued that person or persons in the US can get the death penalty or life in prison for hitting one person, but a drug dealer who potentially kills thousands can spend little or no time in jail.

    ” The only route to solve the narcotic difficulty is through toughness ,” Trump said in statements he echoed on Monday.

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    1:41 ‘Solve drug problem through toughness’: Trump advocates death penalty for drug dealer- video

    Trump also wants Congress to pass legislation reducing the amount of drugs needed to trigger mandatory minimum sentences for traffickers who knowingly distribute certain opioids, told Andrew Bremberg, Trump’s domestic policy administrator, who briefed reporters on the White House plan.

    The president was joined in New Hampshire by the first lady, Melania Trump, who has shown an interest in the issue, particularly as it pertains to her focus on child welfare.

    Trump’s plan concerns law enforcement and interdiction to break the international and domestic flow of drugs into and across the US. It also includes widening education and awareness, expanding access to treatment and recovery effortsand government funded for efforts to develop non-addictive painkillers. He also said that the Department of Justice was ” looking very seriously into bringing major litigation against some of these narcotic companies .” Producing opioids makers in the US are already engulfed in a flurry of civil litigation brought by cities, counties and states.

    Opioids, including prescription opioids, heroin and synthetic drugs such as fentanyl, killed more than 42,000 people in the US in 2016, more than any year on record, according to the federal Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Q& A

    Why is there an opioid crisis in America?

    ” We call it the crisis next door because everyone knows someone ,” said Kellyanne Conway, a senior Trump adviser.” This is no longer somebody else’s community, somebody else’s child, somebody else’s co-worker .”

    The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report

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