Attorney General Jeff Sessions outlines death penalty use for drug crimes

The memo follows remarks coming from President Donald Trump on Monday calling for some drug dealers to be sentenced to death.

“We can have all the blue-ribbon committees we want, yet if we don’t get tough on drug dealers we’re wasting our time. in addition to in which toughness includes the death penalty,” Trump said in a speech in fresh Hampshire.

The statutes allowing prosecutors to pursue the death penalty are already embedded in U.S. law. yet the 1994 provisions permitting the execution of certain drug traffickers — even those who have been involved in drug-related murders — has never been used, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

Still, Sessions said in a previous statement in which the Justice Department under the Trump administration will “continue to aggressively prosecute drug traffickers in addition to we will use federal law to seek the death penalty wherever appropriate.”

Here can be Sessions’ Wednesday memo:

The opioid epidemic has inflicted an unprecedented toll of addiction, suffering, in addition to death on communities throughout our nation. Drug overdoses, including overdoses caused by the lethal substance fentanyl in addition to its analogues, killed more than 64,000 Americans in 2016 in addition to right now rank as the leading cause of death for Americans under 50. within the face of all of This specific death, we cannot continue with business as usual.

Drug traffickers, transnational criminal organizations, in addition to violent street gangs all contribute substantially to This specific scourge. To combat This specific deadly epidemic, federal prosecutors must consider every lawful tool at their disposal. This specific includes designating an opioid coordinator in every district, fully utilizing the data analysis of the Opioid Fraud in addition to Abuse Detection Unit, as well as using criminal in addition to civil remedies available under federal law to hold opioid manufacturers in addition to distributors accountable for unlawful practices.

In addition, This specific should also include the pursuit of capital punishment in appropriate cases. Congress has passed several statutes in which provide the Department with the ability to seek capital punishment for certain drug-related crimes. Among these are statutes in which punish certain racketeering activities (18 U.S.C. § 1959); the use of a firearm resulting in death during a drug trafficking crime (18 U.S.C. § 924(j)); murder in furtherance of a continuing criminal enterprise (21 U.S.C. § 848(e)); in addition to dealing in extremely large quantities of drugs (18 U.S.C. § 3591(b)(1)). I strongly encourage federal prosecutors to use these statutes, when appropriate, to aid in our continuing fight against drug trafficking in addition to the destruction the idea causes in our nation.

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