Maine Governor Proposes Death By Guillotine For Drug Traffickers

By May Wilkerson 01/28/16

Gov. Paul LePage's latest comments should come as no surprise.


Maine Governor Paul LePage, a Republican, is advocating for an approach to drug crimes so severe, it’s literally medieval. "What I think we ought to do is bring the guillotine back,” he said in an interview this week. “We should have public executions.”

The United States has never used guillotine as a form of execution, and France abolished the practice in 1977. But LePage thinks it should make a comeback, since prison is not a strong enough penalty for drug traffickers. "I think the death penalty should be appropriate for people that kill Mainers," he said. "I think four years [in prison] is not good enough. We've got to go to 20 years. We have to keep them here until they die."

LePage’s archaic attitude towards drug laws should come as no surprise. The governor recently came under intense criticism after making racist comments that drug traffickers with names like “D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty” come up to Maine from Connecticut and New York to sell heroin. "Incidentally, half the time they impregnate a young white girl before they leave, which is a real sad thing because then we have another issue that we've got to deal with down the road," he said.

The governor later backtracked on his comments, claiming they weren’t racially biased. "I tried to explain that Maine is essentially all white," he said. "I should have said 'Maine women.'"

Back in 2014, LePage also rejected a bill that would’ve increased access to naloxone, an anti-overdose medication proven to save lives. He claimed access to the medication would encourage drug abuse, despite a lack of any evidence to support this.

During his time as governor, LePage has also slashed funding for substance abuse treatment, and poured money into the state’s Drug Enforcement Agency. He also vetoed bills to provide legal immunity for health professionals administering naloxone to people suffering from an overdose, and vetoed “Good Samaritan” bills to protect people who call 911 to report a suspected overdose.

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May Wilkerson is a writer, comic and Managing Editor @someecards. Co-host of the podcast Crazy; In Bed w/alyssalimp. She is also the top Google result for "insufferable lunatic." Follow this insufferable lunatic on Twitter.