Former President Donald Trump wants to bring back firing squads, possibly even guillotines, and televise executions — according to a new report.
The report says that Trump believes that executing a large amount of drug dealers will help to tackle the drug epidemic and curb violent crime.
In an article for Rolling Stone, writers Asawin Suebsaeng and Patrick Reis begin by citing three anonymous “close associates” of Trump, who claim that he asked them, “WHAT DO YOU think of firing squads?”
“Specifically, Trump has talked about bringing back death by firing squad, by hanging, and, according to two of the sources, possibly even by guillotine,” the article states. “He has also, sources say, discussed group executions. Trump has floated these ideas while discussing planned campaign rhetoric and policy desires, as well as his disdain for President Biden’s approach to crime.”
The third source told the magazine that Trump had discussed making a “flashy” government ad campaign that would include “footage from these new executions, if not from the exact moments of death.”
“The [former] president believes this would help put the fear of God into violent criminals,” this source said. “He wanted to do some of these [things] when he was in office, but for whatever reasons didn’t have the chance.”
An unnamed former Trump White House official told the magazine that Trump supports an “eye for an eye” form of justice.
“In conversations I’d been in the room for, President Trump would explicitly say that he’d love a country that was totally an ‘eye for an eye’ — that’s a direct quote — criminal justice system, and he’d talk about how the ‘right’ way to do it is to line up criminals and drug dealers before a firing squad,” Rolling Stone quoted the former official as saying.
“He had a particular affinity for the firing squad, because it seemed more dramatic, rather than how we do it, putting a syringe in people and putting them to sleep,” the former official added. “He was big on the idea of executing large numbers of drug dealers and drug lords because he’d say, ‘These people don’t care about anything,’ and that they run their drug empire and their deals from prison anyways, and then they get back out on the street, get all their money again, and keep committing crimes … and therefore, they need to be eradicated, not jailed.”
A spokesperson for Trump claimed that the discussion of a video campaign to scare criminals is false.
“More ridiculous and fake news from idiots who have no idea what they’re talking about,” the spokesman said. “Either these people are fabricating lies out of thin air, or Rolling Stone is allowing themselves to be duped by these morons.”
However, the concept of bringing back previously banned forms of execution, and applying them to drug dealers, does not seem outside the realm of possibility. Trump floated the idea himself during his 2024 campaign announcement, which the spokesperson pointed to.
“Every drug dealer during his or her life, on average, will kill 500 people with the drugs they sell, not to mention the destruction of families. We’re going to be asking everyone who sells drugs, gets caught selling drugs, to receive the death penalty for their pain,” Trump said.
TRUMP: “I’m calling for the death penalty of drug dealers & human traffickers…” #TrumpRally
— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) September 24, 2022
The former president and 2024 hopeful said that this is the best way to stop the drug epidemic, even “if it doesn’t sound nice.”
“And if [the drug dealer is] guilty, they get executed, and they send the bullet to the family and they want the family to pay for the cost of the bullet,” Trump continued. “If you want to stop the drug epidemic in this country, you better do that … [even if] it doesn’t sound nice.”