During a speech at a free-wheeling rally in Pennsylvania, on Saturday, President Trump highlighted the need to impose the death penalty for drug dealers. He went off script criticizing the media, offending Democrats and so on.
Trump was there to endorse Republican candidate Rick Saccone, who faces a tight race against democrat Conor Lamb. The Republicans have held this district for more than a decade. Therefore, it is a must-win congressional race for them.
Trump attended the event to say that the way to eradicate the drug problem was imposing the death penalty for the ones who promote it. He noted Pennsylvania is ready for that.
“When I was in China and other places, by the way, I said, ‘Mr. President, do you have a drug problem? No, no, no, we do not. … I said what do you attribute that to? Well, the death penalty,’” he recounted on Saturday night. “Honestly, I don’t know that the United States frankly is ready for it. They should be ready for it.”
In the rally, Trump praised countries such as China and Indonesia for their punishments against drug-related felonies. He said it is the way to solve drug problems, and suggested Pennsylvania should adopt a similar law because it is ready for that. This statement comes after other suggestions for taking capital punishments.
In fact, Trump criticized in November that Sargent Bowe Bergdahl received no prison time after he tweeted that the former Taliban prisoner had to face the capital punishment. He also said that the man who is facing accusation for killing eight people after driving a truck in a Manhattan bike-path “should get the death penalty.” That was the first time he tweeting about the penalty as president.
Trump has called for capital punishment several times
Even before he became president, he had consistently called for death penalty for many criminals. He did it against Drew Peterson, who got a lot of attention in the country after his second wife, Stacy, disappeared. In this occasion, Trump tweeted “change the law,” and “bring back the death penalty!”
In 2015, he also highlighted the need to impose the death penalty against the “deranged animals” who killed two police officers in Mississippi.
Trump also said that Jared Lee Loughner should have been given the death penalty, after he shot former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killed a half dozen others in 2011. The US President also said that his plea-bargained life in prison would cost too much for taxpayers.
However, more worrisome is the fact that Trump has also called for faster judicial processes and the implementation of more brutal methods of execution. This could be noticed through some of his previous statements when James Holmes shot 82 people in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. Trump called for a “fast trial.”
It also happened when he called for “fast trial and death penalty” for a gunman who shot dead a former co-worker, at the Empire State Building, in 2012.
The same was stated in the events of the Boston Marathon tragedy. He suggested that the “animal” that beheaded a woman in Oklahoma, in September 2014, should have gotten a quick trial and should have been beheaded equally.
Trump: killers should be forced to suffer
In 1989, Trump ran multiple full-page ads in New York City newspapers to call for the death penalty after the rape and assault of a Central Park jogger. In those pages, Trump said that the society was to rot away if there wasn’t a frequent use of capital punishment.
“I no longer want to understand their anger. I want them to understand our anger. I want them to be afraid,” Trump wrote. “They should be forced to suffer and, when they kill, they should be executed for their crimes.”
In February 2016, he made fun of the people who considered the death penalty to be unconstitutional, and think that the methods of execution should be as humane as possible. His declarations put in doubt his beliefs regarding the importance of the due process.
Trump actually believes that people should pay when they commit cold-blood murders, and that the way to do it is through the capital penalty.
“It’s like these guys that commit murder, right? They commit murder. They kill someone. … They go to jail. ‘We don’t want the death penalty. It’s cruel and unusual punishment,’” he said. “And then you have another case when they get the death penalty, want to give them drugs to put them to sleep quietly and this. Look, we’re in a fight for our lives.”
Currently, the death penalty is legal in 31 states of the country and the federal government.