With Donald Trump taking a page out of Filipino leader Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody playbook and pursuing the death penalty for drug dealers, Fox & Friends — a show that acts as the president’s unofficial advisory board — debated the matter, with one guest even praising the idea.
Joe Peters, who worked in the drug czar’s office under Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, explained he was in favor of Trump’s plan to kill drug dealers and suggested the president follow his “instincts”:
“This president is a very instinctive leader, who is usually correct in his instincts. He feels that a major punishment for individuals who are trafficking in fentanyl, at the highest levels, is appropriate. So what does he do? He has the instinct. Throws it out there. It engenders a debate. He likes people to fight over arguments and bring him options and he decides… Drug dealers are going to be very tuned into this media-savvy president and I think his message was to them, too.”
Attorney Elliot Felig, the other guest discussing the matter, pushed back on these claims — saying such a death penalty could not be put in place due to previous Supreme Court rulings on capital punishment. “In this case I have grave doubts about the constitutionality of such a policy,” said Felig. “The Supreme Court ruled over and over again death penalty is unconstitutional for homicide offenses.”
Peters responded by saying that even if murder is not the intent, “if you deliver the drugs, and a person dies it is on you.”
As for Trump’s actual comments on the matter, the president voiced strong support for capital punishment against drug dealers.
“You kill 5,000 people with drugs because you’re smuggling them in and you are making a lot of money and people are dying. And they don’t even put you in jail,” Trump said while speaking at a rally in Pennsylvania . “That’s why we have a problem, folks. I don’t think we should play games.”
“He said ‘We have a zero tolerance policy. That means if we catch a drug dealer, death penalty,'” he added.
Watch above, via Fox News.
[image via screengrab]
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org