01 Mar Death penalty for drug trafficking- justice or a cruel step towards humanity?
On March 22, 2018, during a panel discussion in Washington, U.S. President Donald Trump said, “These drug dealers murder thousands of people over the course of their lives through drugs. So, we’re going to have to get much, much unfortunate in terms of penalty.”
Some people sentenced for murder already receive the death penalty in the United States. However, the president argues that even dealers who do not perpetrate violent crimes should be put to death because they are hooking thousands of people on drugs that could kill them.
In 2008, the Supreme Court issued a groundbreaking judgment in PATRICK KENNEDY, PETITIONER v. LOUISIANA. The court ruled that Louisiana could not command a death sentence “for the ‘sexual abuse of a child where the crime did not result and was not meant to result, in the death of the victim.” The case did not include a drug dealer, but the court said: “the death penalty should not be expanded to occurrences where the victim’s life was not taken.” So here we see the clash between the Trump administration and the Supreme Court which depicts that if the Trump administration pursued capital punishment in such a case, it would likely be challenged, but no one can say for sure how the Supreme Court might govern.
There are some cases such as when drug traffickers commit murder or homicide in connection with their drug dealing, so, on account of punishment, the answer is clearly yes. At present, there are currently 14 people on death row for determining homicides in the course of their drug trade, according to data kept by the Death Penalty Information Center.
Drug traffickers not only choose to harm others with drugs; they are also responsible for influencing low-level drug peddlers who eventually would follow the same path with no fear in mind.
Proponents of capital punishment say it is an essential tool for preserving law and order, deters crime, and costs less than life imprisonment. They debate that revenge or “an eye for an eye” honors the victim, helps console mourning families, and ensures that the perpetrators of horrendous crimes never have a chance to cause future tragedy. The drugs they peddle create not only useless suffering drug addicts but also cause other crimes, enormous financial burdens on government and misery for law-abiding people who are affected by the drug-related crime. The worst of it all is the innocent and gullible children who later turn into drug users or drug sellers.
Opponents of capital punishment assert that it has no restraining effect on crime, wrongly gives the administration the power to take human life and perpetuates social injustice by disproportionately aiming people of color (racist) and people who cannot afford good attorneys (classist). They say lifetime jail sentences are more severe and less expensive punishment than death. Also, some of them believe Drug dealers also deserve fundamental rights. If we kill them, it’s just the same as violating human rights of having a life.
The blame cannot be transferred on to the drug dealers entirely as the users also know that drugs can gradually lead to death. Why do they keep on buying it? There is always an option to either give petty sentences to drug users or force them into drug rehabilitation centers. Low-level peddlers can also be treated in the same manner, and they can be forced to do community services while a basic vocational training is provided to them so that they can stop selling drugs and find a better job and enjoy a decent lifestyle. However, as appealing as these solutions sound, a common saying goes – “Once an addict, always an addict! Once a drug dealer, always a drug dealer!”
It is agreeable that the amount of innocence in people is going towards the furbished evil insights, which first (obviously) looks appealing but is also capable of thrashing/kicking out the sensitivity.