Trump tells Sessions fentanyl dealers should get the death penalty: report

Trump tells Sessions fentanyl dealers should get the death penalty: report
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpDC board rejects Trump Hotel effort to dismiss complaint seeking removal of liquor license on basis of Trump's 'character' DC board rejects Trump Hotel effort to dismiss complaint seeking removal of liquor license on basis of Trump's 'character' Mexico's immigration chief resigns amid US pressure over migrants MORE on Thursday told Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsSarah Sanders to leave White House Sarah Sanders to leave White House Barr compares his return to DOJ to D-Day invasion MORE that he thinks those convicted of illegally dealing fentanyl should get the death penalty, according to a Bloomberg report.

Two people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News that Trump shared his view with Sessions at a meeting with other administration officials, including Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Biden, Sanders to share stage at first DNC debate The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Biden, Sanders to share stage at first DNC debate Trump says he will not fire Kellyanne Conway for Hatch Act violations MORE, who is overseeing White House efforts to battle the nationwide opioid epidemic.

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Both Sessions and the president have encouraged the use of the death penalty in drug cases before.

Sessions issued a memo in late March about seeking the death penalty for drug trafficking cases, writing, "I strongly encourage federal prosecutors to use these statutes, when appropriate, to aid in our continuing fight against drug trafficking and the destruction it causes in our nation."

Trump called for the use of the death penalty against drug traffickers in March as well, as he vowed to harden America's borders to the trafficking of fentanyl and other opioids.

Most fentanyl comes to the U.S. from Chinese manufacturers via Mexican drug cartels, according to a federal report.  

Though other opioids contribute to the growing number of opioid-related deaths, the illegal traffic of fentanyl has caused the number of fatal opioid overdoses to rocket skyward.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has said that fentanyl and its analogues killed an estimated 29,000 Americans last year. 

According to Bloomberg, people convicted of dealing in large quantities of drugs or money related to the trade can be sentenced to death, under a law signed by President Clinton.

However, prosecutors have never sought the penalty in fear that it is unconstitutional, Politico reported.

The attorney general’s office would not comment to The Hill.

The White House did not immediately respond to request for comment.  

Updated at 6:40 p.m.