Maine's Governor Wants to Fight the War on Drugs with the Guillotine

Paul LePage a.k.a. "America's Craziest Governor" is at it again.


Maine's Republican Governor Paul LePage

America's Craziest Governor
Dreamstime/Aaron Priest

wants to impose the death penalty on drug traffickers in the Vacationland state.

In an interview with WVOM-FM radio, LePage insisted mandatory minimums "don't go far enough" and that he believes "people who kill Mainers" should be killed via "injection of the stuff they sell."

To demonstrate how "all in" he is on the War on Drugs, he proposed 20-year mandatory minimum sentences for drug traffickers to "keep them here until they die."

An increasingly emotional LePage added:

I am just appalled at people getting angry at me for making a comment…when they protect these people. And the ACLU, mind you, is the worst organization in the state protecting these people. 

The show's hosts tried to wrap up the segment, but were interrupted by LePage:

What I think we ought to do is bring the guillotine back. We could have public executions and we could even have, uh, which hole it falls in. 

The bemused hosts chuckled at this suggestion, and while beheading is a far more humane method of execution than all of the alternatives currently practiced in US death penalty states, LePage's hysterical drug war rhetoric is consistently disconcerting. Earlier this month, Nick Gillespie noted LePage's concerns regarding out-of-state drug traffickers:

"The traffickers, these aren't people who take drugs. These are guys by the name D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty," LePage, a Republican, said during a discussion of the state's heroin epidemic at a town hall event. "These type of guys that come from Connecticut and New York. They come up here, they sell their heroin, then they go back home."

"Incidentally, half the time they impregnate a young, white girl before they leave," he added. "Which is the real sad thing, because then we have another issue that we have to deal with down the road."

Buzzfeed reported LePage later walked back a small portion of his statement (sort of):

"Instead of saying 'Maine women' I said 'white women,' and I'm not going to apologize to the Maine women for that. Because if you go to Maine, you'll see that we're essentially 95% white."

Later in the news conference, LePage said, "If I slipped up and used the wrong word, I apologize to all the Maine women."

When asked by a reporter at the news conference whether he would apologize to the black community, LePage said, "I never said anything about white or black on traffickers."

LePage, who Politico called "America's craziest governor," had previously boasted of his "robust authority" when in 2014 he unsuccessfully tried to quarantine a nurse returning from Africa after treating Ebola patients, despite the fact that she tested negative for the disease and showed no symptoms.