Donald Trump Proposal For Death Penalty For Drug Crimes Would Have Executed People He’s Pardoned Like Alice Marie Johnson

Donald Trump contradicted himself in an interview with Fox News’s Bret Baier.

The former president stated that he would like to execute people convicted of drug crimes, despite previously granting pardons for these offenses and supporting the First Step Act.

Trump signed the First Step Act into law in 2018, which aims to reform the federal prison system and develop a new risk and needed assessment system. Those who have been incarcerated in federal prison facilities are eligible to appeal their case using the First Step Act, which was a major bipartisan achievement toward criminal justice reform.

Trump is also known for pardoning people like Alice Marie Johnson, who served 22 years of a life sentence on charges of cocaine distribution and money laundering. Kim Kardashian pushed the former president to make this decision, and it was one that he spoke of frequently during his final months in office.

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However, throughout his 2024 presidential campaign, Trump has been calling upon Congress to approve the death penalty for drug crimes.

In the Fox interview, Baier pointed out that Johnson would have been “killed under” Trump’s plan,

“Oh, under that? Uh, it would depend on the severity,” responded Trump. “By the way, if that was there? She wouldn’t be killed, it would start as of now. So you wouldn’t go to the past.”

Trump is most likely trying to appeal to GOP hardliners, who have condemned the First Step Act since Trump approved it in 2018.

“Under Democratic control, the streets of our great cities are drenched in the blood of innocent victims,” said Trump at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania last year. “I’m calling on Republicans and Democrats to immediately institute, to get to Washington and institute the death penalty for drug dealers. You will no longer have a problem.”

Not only would this proposal violate the U.S. Supreme Court rulings, which have held that death sentences for non-lethal offenses are considered cruel and unusual punishment, but it is also contradictory to the former president’s actions during his time in office.

Other Republican presidential candidates, such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Florida) and former Vice President Mike Pence have already pointed to Trump’s hypocrisy on the subject. They will undoubtedly use it as a campaign talking point moving forward.

Ava Lombardi

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