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Death penalty for some drug dealers?


In March, President Trump spoke in Manchester about his plan to combat the opioid crisis. He laid out a three-prong strategy focused on raising awareness about the dangers of drug abuse, stemming the flow of illicit drugs, and expanding treatment options. As he explained, this plan includes putting the "really bad pushers and abusers" to death. Currently in New Hampshire, drug dealers face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Learn more about the death penalty in NH

“Do you agree with President Trump that certain high-volume drug traffickers should be given the death penalty?”

Discussion held on Citizens Count NH website and Facebook page March 20, 2018

453 citizens responded 218 citizens were opposed to the death penalty for drug dealers177 citizens were in favor of the death penalty for drug dealers 58 citizens commented on related questions or issues
What Participants Said

No: 218 citizens were opposed to applying the death penalty to some drug dealers.

  • “It's ineffective and unconstitutional. We need treatment, research, and compassion for addicts. We should continue to prosecute and imprison major dealers.”
  • “Duterte is doing this in the Phillippines. Guess who's dying? Poor, low level dealers who can't get lawyers/politicians to protect them. Guess what would happen in the US? The same thing!”
  • “It's no different from the same old useless prohibition tactics used to combat drugs... except you'd be killing people... after they spend many, many years in prison, all on the taxpayer's dime.”

Yes: 177 citizens were in favor of applying the death penalty to some drug dealers.

  • “Drug dealers are murdering criminals. They sell death. Why should we pay for them to live for free in jail?”
  • “Dealers kill more people than serial killers. They need to be put down like the vermin they are.”
  • “The death penalty should be reserved for those individuals whose reintroduction into society is impossible without sacrificing public safety.  Trafficking or dealing in illicit drugs does not indicate an individual so lost that they cannot be rehabilitated and safely reintegrated into society.”

Other: 58 citizens addressed their comments to related questions and issues.
These included:

  • Origins of addiction: “Are we talking about the pharmaceutical companies that encouraged doctors to overprescribe opiates?”
  • Alternative policies: “Neither. Legalize so folks can get treatment without fear.”
  • Other death penalty expansions: “What about pedophiles?”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes.

Read the full Facebook discussion of this question

Click here for details on our methodology

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