Jeff Sessions officially sends memo asking prosecutors to give drug dealers death penalty


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/03/21/jeff-sessions-officially-sends.html


#2

If the Executive Branch is acting unilaterally on this (that is, without any new acts of Congress), then doesn’t that mean it only affects cases that were already eligible for the death penalty? That is, where the dealer could be construed (through some possibly twisted logic) to have caused somebody’s death?

Granted, this is a step in the wrong direction. But it seems like a largely symbolic one, and it seems unlikely to lead to even a single death sentence. Like so many of the Trump Administration’s actions, this seems like something to distract our attention.


#3

That’s pretty much what the memo says. So, to the extent that federal prosecutors have a choice about whether to pursue the death penalty, Sessions is saying, tip the scales in favor.


#4

“dealing in extremely large quantity of drugs.”

Still needs clarification. Does the CEO of the pharmaceutical company get the death penalty, or the trucker delivering the fentanyl to CVS?


#5

I find myself at a loss for words at how awful this is. Not because I have known drug dealers. We all have. There’s not much other work to be had in some places. But the incredibly blind approach that leaves out the real culprits making absurd amounts of profits dealing “legal” drugs…

This is victim-blaming and continued exploitation all wrapped up into a tidy package - like so much else in this administration.


#6

It sounds like 1) yes, they can only and intend only to now pursue the death penalty in cases where it is already a possibility under U.S. law, but 2) surprisingly, the Controlled Substances Act does have a provision for the death penalty.

Sessions cites 18 U.S.C. § 3591(b)(1), which points to what is basically a gangster death penalty clause: they’d need to be part of a continuing criminal enterprise, but it doesn’t seem that they would necessarily have to be convicted of a gun crime, assassination conspiracy, or other life-threatening plot that normally carries a death penalty.


#7

So, then there’s absolutely no incentive for anyone who thinks they might be charged with drug dealing to do anything other than resist arrest as much as possible?


#8

Yep. That way, the militarized police will be able to justify using all of their toys!


#9

Duterte must be so proud that the U.S. is following his lead in putting the executions back into the Executive Branch. These right-wing thugs are all cut from the same cloth.


#10

There is no reason beyond “drugs are bad” to criminalize the use of any drug. This is what the legal folks call mala prohibita (wrong because we wrote a law) as opposed to mala en se (wrong in itself).
So Jeffry is suggesting we kill people for doing something that is only wrong because someone wrote a law.


#11

It looks like to trigger the death penalty scenarios Sessions specifically calls out, you’d have to do one of the following:

  • Be the main kingpin of an continuing criminal enterprise, which basically means an organizer/supervisor/manager of 5 other criminals, or at least someone who makes a substantial amount of the money.
  • kill someone with a gun while committing a drug trafficking crime
  • conspire or attempt to assassinate as part of a continuing criminal enterprise.
  • or be trafficking 600 times the amount listed here. An example would be 60 kilos of heroin or marijuana, or 6 kilos of PCP, or 60,000 marijuana plants.

#12

Sessions does as Orange Daddy says, or he loses his J O B .


#13

I called it!

The whole campaign was supposed to be about fighting the plague of opioid deaths, but I said that the actual proposal wouldn’t be limited to those drugs, and someone with a baggie of weed could get the death penalty.

ETA: Okay, it would have to be a big baggie, but now we’re just arguing quantity.


#14

Because it’s a proximate excuse for his real motivation–killing POC.


#15

Anyone know how much your average legal dispensary has on hand?


#16

I’d believe it when these folks are sweating

http://www.cardinalhealth.com/en/about-us/our-people/our-leaders.html
https://www.amerisourcebergen.com/abcnew/about-our-leadership

especially


#17

Why is it that white men of tiny proportions are so overly filled with hated and a desire to cause harm and or death to other people. These small men should not be allowed to have power. They don’t have the capacity to use it safely or appropriately.


#18

Jeff Sessions, that stupid Nazi bastard, can go f@#$ himself. My state will shut him down.


#19

I’m sure this will apply to real estate developers involved in laundering drug money.


#20