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Trump Admin Will Seek Death Penalty As Part Of Opioid Response

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Published on: March 19, 2018

The Trump administration put forth its policy concerning dealing with the self-proclaimed opioid crisis, and one of the major things was to deal with drug dealers who have caused the deaths of people by putting them to death.

“I don’t know if it’s popular. I don’t know if that’s unpopular,” Trump said, after claiming that some drug dealers are responsible for thousands of deaths.

That’s probably true for a small number of big dealers, and if they are behind those deaths, then they should be held accountable with the death penalty, not a jail cell.

The death penalty is definitely a just penalty, but not just for selling drugs, but for murder.  Yet, it will only apply in certain situations.

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

The White House has not been very clear as to when the death penalty would apply, but claims that it is a bipartisan issue.

“The opioid crisis is viewed by us at the White House as a nonpartisan problem searching for bipartisan solutions, and the Trump administration remains committed to fighting this epidemic from all fronts,” Kellyanne Conway, a counselor to the president, said Sunday.

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A Justice Department official wrote in an email, “Under current law, the federal death penalty is available for several limited drug-related offenses — for example through violations of the ‘drug kingpin’ provisions in 18 USC 3591(b) and 21 USC 848(e).”

Where is the authority for this in the Constitution?  What Section or clause gives the authority to DC to engage in this at all?

The Hill reports:

Trump will announce the Initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse during his first visit as president to New Hampshire, a state the opioid epidemic has hit hard and where 2016 presidential candidates, including Trump, discussed the issue of addiction at length.

The plan includes a mix of efforts that advocates have been supportive of in the past, such as expanding access to the gold standard of treatment for an opioid addiction and ensuring first responders are equipped with an opioid overdose reversal drug.

It also includes law enforcement measures, and addiction advocates have been urging the administration and lawmakers to steer away from a war-on-drugs approach they say hasn’t worked in the past.

I question that DC should be “expanding access to the gold standard of treatment for an opioid addiction” and equipping first responders with an opioid reversal drug.

Will this drug have to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration?  Probably.  How about in the process of this, we first hold accountable those in the FDA who approved drugs that killed hundreds of thousands of people, according to their own website?  Then let’s eliminate it.  That is not a function of government and there is no authority given in our Constitution for its establishment.

Additionally, the White House will also seek to cut opioid prescriptions by one-third over the next three years by “promoting practices that reduce overprescription.”

Again, I’m not sure where that is a responsibility of the DC government to do this, and how much money will this cost to taxpayers?  Where is such a promotion authorized in the Constitution?

Tyler Durden adds:

In a policy that echoes the Reagan-era war on drugs – policies that liberal harm-reduction advocates say don’t work – Trump will also seek to lower the quantities needed to trigger mandatory minimum sentences “to match the new reality of drugs like fentanyl, which are lethal in much, much smaller doses…”

In addition to pursuing street dealers, the plan directs the Justice Department to aggressively pursue criminally negligent doctors and pharmacies and to take criminal and civil actions against opioid manufacturers that break the law. Indeed, attorneys generals from dozens of states are suing opioid manufacturers for allegedly misleading doctors and the public about the addiction potential of their drugs.

Finally, the proposal will also seek to expand access to treatment facilities to help the addicted get treatment.

Durden also added:

In 2008, the Supreme Court ruled in Kennedy vs Louisiana left open the question of whether the death penalty for “offenses against the State” including “drug kingpin activity” would be constitutionally permissible.

I’m just not sure it’s a crime that should be handled by the federal government, but should be dealt with according to the states.

While I despise the “war on drugs” for a number of reasons, mainly because it’s been a miserable failure and used to engage in asset forfeiture as well as unconstitutional raids on innocent people, I believe the matter of the death penalty for a crime like this should be handled by the states, not the central government.  This is not a matter of treason.  Other matters mentioned I don’t find any authorization for in the Constitution either.

While this may be a well-intentioned policy, I question whether it is a constitutional one.  Like so many “laws” and policies that have been enacted, the old saying goes that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.  The question we should all be asking is where is the constitutional authority to do any of this?

This is an issue for the states to deal with not the central government.

Additionally, I want to know if this will apply to the FDA, one of the biggest scams every pushed on the American people that has led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans.

The best thing that could be done is to get government out of the drug business and the war on drugs.  Then watch as the current criminal drug dealers whither away and a free market grows from it.

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