Trump calls for the execution of drug dealers, but his ‘First step act’ lets them out of jail

In a speech on Tuesday, Trump called for their execution. But during his presidency, Trump signed a bill which sent an entirely different message.

The former president signed the bipartisan First Step Act in 2018 after being convinced it could help his political career, Politico previously reported. Trump was reportedly still skeptical of the decision. One former official told Politico that Trump had often complained about being “talked into” signing it.

The law sought to reduce sentences for nonviolent drug offenders. This is notable considering Trump’s declaration that he wants the death penalty for drug dealers. Officials noted in 2019 that over 1,500 inmates retroactively received reduced sentences due to a provision that lessened sentences for individuals convicted of crack-related crimes versus those only convicted of crimes involving cocaine powder, Reuters reported. These days, as demonstrated by Trump’s speech in D.C., Trump does not often talk about the law. He said that it was a “big breakthrough for many people”. . The former president instead preaches tough-on crime mentality. He focuses on Democratic policies that have led to an increase in crime in major cities.

” If you take a look at the countries around the globe, those with a low drug problem tend to be the ones who have the most rapid trial and death sentence of any drug dealer. This sounds terrible, doesn’t? Trump stated Tuesday that it sounds terrible.

“You execute a drug dealer and you’ll save 500 lives, because they kill on average 500 people,” Trump continued. It’s horrible to hear, but if you look at any country that does not have a drug problem, there is a strong death penalty for those who sell drugs. If we’re going to stop this scourge, it’s time to get brutally tough on the dealers and traffickers and narco-terrorist cartels who are stealing over 200,000 American lives a year.”

Throughout his presidency, Trump granted clemency to multiple people convicted on drug charges, including some charged with drug trafficking.

In 2021, Trump even issued a last-minute pardon for a convicted drug smuggler who reportedly “has a history of violence and threatening people,” according to The New York Times. Jonathan Braun was the leader of a massive smuggling operation that focused on marijuana. He is still being investigated by separate investigators as he received his pardon.

Meanwhile, in early 2019, Joel Francisco – convicted of selling crack cocaine and sentenced to life in prison – was one of the first inmates set free as a result of Trump’s “First Step Act.” Later that year, he was arrested and charged with murder, according to CNN.

Then, in 2020, Francisco pled guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine, The Providence Journal reported at the time. (RELATED: BARR: Time For Congress To Take The ‘Next Step’ On Criminal Justice Reform)

Notably, Trump has released drug dealers who have gone on to better their lives. Alice Marie Johnson was one prime example. She was sentenced for her involvement in a drug trafficking organization and received a life sentence. After Trump pardoned her in 2020, she went on to be a criminal justice reform activist and published a memoir.

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The “First Step Act”, a sensitive subject for Republicans as both crime and election heat continue to rise, remains controversial. Charles Stimson of the Heritage Foundation is a crime expert and explained to Politico how voters will be more inclined to vote for people who support law enforcement. People will likely be motivated to vote in the fall for people who follow the law and order approach. They won’t believe those who claim they have no crime problem,” Stimson said to Politico. A spokesperson for Trump didn’t immediately reply to our request for comment.
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