Fentanyl

Trump Praises China for Killing Drug Traffickers

The president thinks executions will help stop the flow of "fentanol" into the United States.

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Today Donald Trump praised China for classifying the export of fentanyl (or, as he calls it, "fentanol") as "a major crime," making traffickers subject to the death penalty. "In China, unlike in our country, the highest level of crime is very, very high," Trump said at the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit in Atlanta. "You pay the ultimate price. So I appreciate that very much."

Contrary to what the president implied, U.S. law does authorize the execution of drug traffickers in certain circumstances. Drug offenders eligible for the death penalty include leaders of criminal enterprises that sell 60,000 kilograms of marijuana, 60 kilograms of heroin, 17 kilograms of crack cocaine, or 600 grams of LSD.

That provision has been on the books since 1994, but it has never been carried out. It probably never will be, since it seems to be unconstitutional under a 2008 decision in which the Supreme Court said the Eighth Amendment requires that the death penalty be reserved for "crimes that take the life of the victim." While deadly violence committed "in aid of racketeering activity" or "during and in relation to any…drug trafficking crime" would qualify for that description, nonviolent drug distribution seemingly would not.

Trump has suggested otherwise, arguing that "we have pushers and drugs dealers [who] are killing hundreds and hundreds of people" through overdoses. "If you shoot one person, they give you life, they give you the death penalty," he said at a March 2018 opioid summit. "These people can kill 2,000, 3,000 people, and nothing happens to them." He added that "some countries have a very, very tough penalty—the ultimate penalty—and by the way, they have much less of a drug problem than we do."

Trump made similar comments later that month, and his first attorney general, Jeff Sessions, urged federal prosecutors to seek the death penalty for drug traffickers whenever feasible. Last December the president predicted that "the results will be incredible" if the Chinese government uses "the Death Penalty for distributors and pushers" of fentanyl. So Trump's thirst for drug traffickers' blood is well-established, and so is his admiration for authoritarian governments that dare to draw it on a regular basis.

A 2015 report from Harm Reduction International identified 33 countries that authorize the death penalty for drug offenses. But it classified just seven—China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, and Indonesia—as "high application states," meaning "the sentencing of people convicted of drug offences to death and/or carrying out executions are a routine and mainstreamed part of the criminal justice system." Three of those countries—China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia—account for almost all known executions of drug offenders: 546 out of 549 in 2013. Those are the examples Trump wants us to follow.

NEXT: Can the Roberts Court Save Donald Trump from an Impeachment?

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  1. I know lots of people who think drug traffickers should be put to death. that doesn’t make them evil or even thirsting for blood its just another method of dealing with a problem that some of us find too extreme

    1. I get it. It doesn’t make them evil. They see a problem and just want a final solution.

    2. Yes, yes it does make them evil. Drug traffickers are supplying a willing customer base with a product they use of their own accord, denying a rational adult human being the right to control his own body, denying the principle of self-ownership, is evil.

      Claiming that it is morally acceptable to infringe the principle of self-ownership “for the good of society” is doubly evil in that it is a claim that the individual exists to serve society and not the other way around.

    3. So kill anyone who owns stock in or works at Purdue Pharma?

      1. Purdue pharm is privately owned.

        Like Trump there is no stock.

    4. >>>I know lots of people who think drug traffickers should be put to death

      are they willing to pull the trigger? letting the state kill people for you is easy

  2. Now kill some of the 45MPH in the left lane of an interstate traffickers.

      1. I kid of course. If we imposed that penalty Seattle wouldn’t have anyone left on the freewhaayyyyy I think you’re on to something here.

  3. “If you shoot one person, they give you life, they give you the death penalty,”

    Certain classes of people notwithstanding.

    1. Well, to be fair, what is a badge if not a government-issued license to kill? There’s a reason badges take the shape of a shield – it’s a testament that the bearer of the badge is shielded from the law and will suffer no consequences for his actions no matter how unlawful they might seem to be.

    2. Also, lots of times they don’t give you life or the death penalty for shooting someone.

  4. Does Thomas Friedman agree?

    One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century. It is not an accident that China is committed to overtaking us in electric cars, solar power, energy efficiency, batteries, nuclear power and wind power. China’s leaders understand that in a world of exploding populations and rising emerging-market middle classes, demand for clean power and energy efficiency is going to soar. Beijing wants to make sure that it owns that industry and is ordering the policies to do that, including boosting gasoline prices, from the top down.

    1. Finally, a vote in favor of democracy on these boards.

      If the autocrats were libertarians, a lot of people here would love the idea.

      1. “If the autocrats were libertarians”

        Tony doesn’t understand why this is impossible

        1. fun planet. “where even the autocrats are libertarians!”

  5. China executes drug offenders, yet people still commit drug offenses? Obviously, China is just too soft on crime, they need harsher penalties.

    1. They should make the malefactors listen to k-pop!

      1. You monster.

    2. Kill the families?

    3. China also kills corrupt high-level bureaucrats. Sure, they still have corruption but here in the USA we can’t even fire them.

      1. So not firing “corrupt high-level bureaucrats” is worse than killing them?

        1. For the rest of us and our posterity?
          Yes

  6. Most libertarian president, EVAH!

    1. Since you brought up the relative sense, which of our last 10 previous presidents was significantly better?
      At least not significantly worse?

  7. Needless to say most of the worst effects of the so called drug problem are caused by prohibition. If you think killing drug users or distributors is okay you’re basically no better than a Nazi.

    1. It’s Nazis all the way down.

      1. Oh, the turtles have been displaced? Poor turtles.

  8. Confucius say: ” Man addicted to watching Mayberry RFD waste away in Opie den.”

    1. Opie den funny.

  9. But Gorsuch….

    1. Tony
      April.24.2019 at 10:12 pm
      “But Gorsuch….”

      But fucking lefty ignoramus!
      Glad you’re here to compete in the event. You might hold the lead; turd was here this morning in the hopes of being more dishonest and stupid than you, but you’re hanging in there, shitstain.

      1. It takes so little to trigger you. Dontcha hate it when lefty turds, “shitstains” if you will, invade your safe place?

  10. That post actually had a lot more content and was very funny but I messed up the tags. Too bad we can’t preview any longer.

    1. Tony
      April.24.2019 at 10:13 pm
      “That post actually had a lot more content and was very funny but I messed up the tags. Too bad we can’t preview any longer.”

      So long as it keeps your scumbag commentary out, I’m not griping.

      1. You really don’t like hearing opinions that are anything other than Republican fellatio do you?

        1. “You really don’t like hearing opinions that are anything other than Republican fellatio do you?”

          If you EVER had an opinion or post which was other than lying or just plain stupid, you might ask for special dispensation, you pathetic piece of shit.
          Other than that (which you haven’t done), you’re one more tired hag loser who never grew up.
          Seriously: Please commit suicide. Please. The world asks you to do so.
          You will make the world a better and more intelligent place, plus you will add to the argument that abortion is preferable to allowing shitstains like you to be born.

          1. Well at least I’m not the only one trying to get Tony to harm himself now.

  11. “Three of those countries—China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia—account for almost all known executions of drug offenders: 546 out of 549 in 2013. Those are the examples Trump wants us to follow.”

    All those stats are dated. Surely, the Philippines under Duerte would make the list of bad state actors this way–if the states in question included anything since 2016.

    Gillespie quoted somebody once, saying something along the lines of how Trump’s critics take him literally but not seriously, where his supporters take him seriously but not literally. I think taking Trump literally is a mistake. I don’t believe he really wants to follow the example of China, Iran, or Saudi Arabia, on this or anything else. I think he thinks international opioid traffickers are horrible people, who spread pain and misery, and I think he talks off the top of his head about these things.

    When Bernie Sanders talks about Medicare for All, on the other hand, I think he’s dead serious. When any given Democrat candidate says they’d sign the Green New Deal if it came across their desk, I think they’re dead serious. When Kamala Harris says she’ll use EOs to come after our gun rights if Congress doesn’t make gun manufacturers legally liable for mass shootings, I think she really means it. And it doesn’t matter to me where China, Iran, or Saudi Arabia stand on those or any other issue. Given where they stand on those issues, this libertarian will vote for Trump over any of those Democrats–regardless of whether he says outrageous things about executing what amounts to heroin traffickers.

    1. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck and calls itself a rhinoceros, it’s both a duck and a liar.

      1. Tony
        April.24.2019 at 11:44 pm
        “If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck and calls itself a rhinoceros, it’s both a duck and a liar.”

        If it posts stupid and dishonest bullshit like this, it is a Tony.
        Fuck off, asshole.

  12. If only Trump was interested in root causes.
    Trump is not holding the people responsible to account.

    Dr. Lonny Shavelson found that 70% of female heroin addicts were sexually abused in childhood.

    Addiction is a symptom of PTSD. Look it up.

    1. “Dr. Lonny Shavelson found that 70% of female heroin addicts were sexually abused in childhood.”

      MSimon makes an ass of herself. Or of Shavelson.

  13. Ok so Trump praise China for trying to implement a more extreme version of an authoritarian law that failed so hard in so many other countries on regulating Drugs.

    Yet the Trump Admiration views China as a threat because they (Check Notes, Squints) Produce and Sell Cellphones…

    Yep Trump is definitely a Drug Warrior who is not in touch with reality

    1. Your comment shows a detachment with reality.

  14. […] You might think a billionaire would know something about economics. I guess he’s just going for that cop vote. […]

  15. “Today Donald Trump praised China for classifying the export of fentanyl (or, as he calls it, “fentanol”) as “a major crime,” making traffickers subject to the death penalty. “In China, unlike in our country, the highest level of crime is very, very high,” Trump said at the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit in Atlanta. “You pay the ultimate price. So I appreciate that very much.””

    Today, Jacob Sullum, TDS victim, was sucker-punched by one more of Trump’s throw-away lines.

  16. For all the violence that they cause, drug traffickers and dealers deserve everything that’s coming to them.

  17. Damn!
    I’ve run out of pearls.
    Wherever will I find more to clutch?

    1. Check behind the stack of worn out fainting couches.

  18. “”crimes that take the life of the victim.” … nonviolent drug distribution seemingly would not.”

    Plenty of overdoses to charge dealers with. I’m surprised they haven’t already.

    1. Not all drugs are created equal. Fentanyl appears to be dangerous to handle by virtue of it’s heavily concentrated nature. Meth is a problem because of the ongoing mind altering effects on regular users.

      My fokls recently had a tenant in one f their houses that went from being a $100k per year RV salesman to an unemployed meth addict over a period of about a year. At some point, probably after he got shitcanned at work, he started selling the stuff too. Then his dumb ass gets pulled over with a bunch of materials involved with distributing meth. He gets charged with a felony and my folks get a letter fro the city saying if they don’t evict the tenant that they may have the property seized if there is another narcotics related arrest. Even though the initial arrest was not on the premises.

      It took almost three months to evict the tenant. In which time he got busted again, resulting in another letter for the city. I called and yelled at the prosecutor who sent the letter. Since it isn’t my parent’s fault that it takes so long to evict the idiot.

      Fast forwarding, my parents get the property back with $15k worth of damage for the piece of shit. Insurance cover about a third of that. So until meth addicts can be properly dealt with when they act up, there is no point legalizing that shit.

  19. “nonviolent drug distribution seemingly would not.”

    There is no such thing as nonviolent drug distribution. All drugs are harmful and enabling someone to destroy themselves to varying degrees is anything but nonviolent. Before you try to strawman that logic to other unhealthy lifestyles, consider that drugs are chemically addictive and provide no inherent value, whereas calorie dense foods and low activity hobbies are not inherently addictive and do provide value.

    Specifically with regards to recreational fentanyl (or any extremely harmful opioid, like desomorphine), distribution should be considered equivalent to mailing anthrax because you’re killing someone and there’s no way around that fact.

    1. All drugs are harmful and enabling someone to destroy themselves to varying degrees is anything but nonviolent.

      Considering that, at a certain point in everyone’s life, our own biology starts destroying itself, someone destroying themselves isn’t necessarily a violent act.

  20. We already have executions for drug offenders,dogs, people living at the wrong address and whatnot. They’re called cops.

  21. “In China, unlike in our country, America, because frankly they’re a shithole country, the highest level of crime is high — very, very high,” Trump said. “It’s hahrible. Hahrible and a disgrace, an absolute disgrace. To be honest, you pay the ultimate price, which is not living any more. Like the babies who are hahribly killed by Democrats, which is, frankly, the world’s biggest disgrace, the biggest in history. So I appreciate that very much. The Chinese dying, not the babies. The American babies. So we’ll see. What was the question?”

  22. death penalty no deterrent in China either?

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