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  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    On Tuesday night, Fox News's Bill O'Reilly revealed that he might be cool with hanging drug traffickers. Seriously. Here is the exchange, from a segment posted by Media Matters about the release of 6,000 federal drug offenders:

    Bill O'Reilly: I'll remind you, in Singapore they have no [drug] problem. Why? They hang them. They hang them.

    Jessica Tarlov: Okay, but we're obviously not suggesting that as the answer to—

    Bill O'Reilly: I don't know. I mean, look, Singapore at one time had the most pernicious opium problem you could possibly have, it destroyed their entire society. So they said, you know what, we're not going to have this anymore. And that's what they did. Bingo, no drug problem.​

    It's the "I don't know" that really sets this apart. O'Reilly had a chance to clarify that he doesn't want the US to hang drug offenders. Instead, he seemed unsure — even supportive — of the idea.

    Beyond the civil rights implications of having the government execute nonviolent offenders, there's no evidence that a tougher approach to drugs would work in the US.

    Tough anti-drug policies have already failed.

    Over the past several decades, the US has been fighting an international war on drugs with the explicit goal of going after drug manufacturers and traffickers to eliminate the world's supply of illegal drugs. The idea was that if you eliminate the supply, and bring up drug prices as a result, drugs will become inaccessible to would-be users and abusers. So the country imposed very stringent penalties for drug traffickers, which can sometimes add up to decades in prison.

    Yet in all that time, the price of illicit drugs has plummeted — with the exception of marijuana, which was never very expensive. That suggests stringent anti-drug efforts aren't working: If they worked at reducing the supply of drugs, we would expect to see an increase in drug prices — but we've actually seen the opposite.

    Moreover, the death penalty doesn't appear to reduce crime. A February 2015 review of the research by the Brennan Center for Justice found no evidence that the death penalty had an impact on crime in the 1990s and 2000s, and it concluded that the studies that suggested there was a deterrent effect were methodologically weak. And most criminologists said in a 2009 survey that the death penalty doesn't deter murder.

    So O'Reilly's comment is not just morally questionable; it's also not backed by the evidence we have on the death penalty and war on drugs.




    By German Lopez - Vox/Nov. 4, 2015
    http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2015/11/4/9669970/bill-oreilly-death-penalty-drugs
    Art: crooksandliars
    Newshawk Crew

    Author Bio

    Beenthere2Hippie
    BT2H is a retired news editor and writer from the NYC area who, for health reasons, retired to a southern US state early, and where BT2H continues to write and to post drug-related news to DF.

Comments

  1. Isodimorphism
    I'd be very interested to hear about the actual prevalence of drug use in Singapore. I'm sure it's much higher than the drug warriors think it is.

    And even if Singapore does have very little drug use, that obviously doesn't mean that the same policies would work in the US. Singapore is a tiny city-state, whereas the US is an absolutely enormous country with thousands of kilometres of poorly-guarded borders. Policing the US is massively harder than policing Singapore.
  2. Docta
    The situation in Singapore is very deceptive; A party drug user travels to Kuala Lumpur Malaysia for the weekend or longer, has their fun and returns. A person with a drug problem in Singapore travel to Kuala Lumpur and never returns, this is what the Singapore government calls successful drug policy when it is in fact simply a crock of shit. Everybody in Southeast Asia know Singapore exports their drug problem, it's the traffickers that hang not the users.

    FYI: nothing "nonviolent" about the drug trafficking in Southeast Asia.
  3. scartissue_68
    First - O'Reilly is not a journalist. He is a commentator.

    Second - US had no drug problems until 1903. Everything was legal and much like Portugal is today, when law enforcement and the resulting black-market profiteering is removed from the drug equation, the problems with drugs is greatly reduced.

    Three - Drugs in the US are now largely illegal because of racial, ethnic and sub-cultural bias of the US government and the power of the Press (William Randolph Hurst). Hurst turned the editorial pages of his newspapers into an anti-drug rant rags, much as O'Reilly is currently practicing on TV.

    Four - Historically, the US has actually used the death penalty for selling Heroin. It was probably the electric chair back then. That didn't seem to work as a deterrent then, why would anyone think hanging would work now.
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