Death penalty for drug dealers?
The death of a loved one that should’ve been avoided is a piercing pain that sits in your soul. Drug addiction is still the leading cause of death for adults under 55 years of age. The numbers continue to rise every year, and there seems to be no solution in sight. Does that mean we need to get more extreme? Do we decriminalize all drugs like Portugal, which now has some of the lowest overdose rates in the EU? (1) Portugal at one point had the highest rates in Europe, but in 2019-2020 they only had 72 overdoses and have seen numbers as low as 10 per year. One death alone is too many but the United States is currently facing more than 96,000 overdoses a year. About 600,000 people died of drug overdoses from 2010 to 2020, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Many countries offer supervised injection sites, where drug users can go get monitored during use; This practice started in the Swiss and Dutch, and are proven to reduce overdoses and drug use. There are fears of increased crime or use but not based and any data, the data is contrary to those fears. (2)
The question at hand is-do we start issuing the death penalty in America to Drug Dealers? I have heard this proclamation from parents who lost their children to an overdose, and I can empathize with their pain. The question is will this prevent overdoses? The Supreme Court, in a 2008 ruling, said “the death penalty should not be expanded to instances where the victim’s life was not taken.” How do we determine if the life was taken? How do we verify the dealer is not just an addict? This is often the case. Does the dealer know the drugs were laced with fentanyl? We are even finding traces of fentanyl in Marijuana. There is limited data to suggest this would make an impact in the US. The death penalty is rarely issued in the United States, and In countries like Iran and China, there is limited information due to its secrecy. I can say from personal experience there are many friends I have made that found recovery and changed their life to help others that would not be here today if the death penalty was on the table.