The Trump administration may introduce legislation that seeks the death penalty for drug dealers.
The Washington Post reports that sources say the administration is studying new policy that will allow prosecutors to pursue the penalty, showing that the White House wants to come out tough against the opioid crisis. (In 2016, 64,000 people died from opioid abuse, according to the Post).
This isn't the first time that Donald Trump spoke of punishing drug dealers with death. "Some countries have a very tough penalty, the ultimate penalty, and they have much less of a drug problem than we do,” said Trump during a White House summit last week. He also continued to praise Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's on his strict drug "policy"—a lethal war that's led to thousands of deaths by the police. Trump previously told Duterte that he did an “unbelievable job on the drug problem" during a phone conversation, according to the New York Times.
As of now, Trump's Domestic Policy Council and the Department of Justice are still determining ways a stricter policy could be introduced in the United States. The Washington Post's sources speculate that the policy could make it a capital crime to traffic large amounts of fentanyl while instituting "tougher noncapital penalties for large-scale dealers." The final announcement is expected to come within the next few weeks.