Trump Renews Call for Drug Dealer Death Penalty

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President Trump called for the death penalty for drug dealers during a Saturday rally to bolster a struggling GOP candidate for a Pennsylvania U.S. House seat, the Washington Post reports. Trump said that allowing prosecutors to seek the death penalty for drug dealers — an idea he said he got from Chinese President Xi Jinping — is “a discussion we have to start thinking about. I don’t know if this country’s ready for it.” The president asked, “Do you think the drug dealers who kill thousands of people during their lifetime, do you think they care who’s on a blue-ribbon committee? The only way to solve the drug problem is through toughness. When you catch a drug dealer, you’ve got to put him away for a long time.”

It was not the first time Trump had suggested executing drug dealers. Earlier this month, he described it as a way to fight the opioid epidemic. On Friday, the Post reported that the Trump administration was considering policy changes to allow prosecutors to seek the death penalty. On Saturday, his call for executing drug dealers got some of the most enthusiastic cheers of the night. Trump was in Pennsylvania to inject some last-minute political capital behind Republican Rick Saccone, whose race against Democrat Conor Lamb could be a harbinger of the Republican Party’s fate in the midterms. At another point in the rally, Trump urged a crackdown on sanctuary cities and vowed to toughen enforcement at U.S. borders and to root out MS-13 gang members. “We have to build a wall,” Trump said. “For people, for gangs, for drugs. The drugs have never been a problem like we have right now.”

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