San Diegans sound off on Trump’s plan to use death penalty for drug dealers

SAN DIEGO -- Part of President Donald Trump's plan to tackle the opioid epidemic in the U.S. is to seek the death penalty for high-volume drug dealers.

The President is expected to unveil the plan during his trip to New Hampshire Monday.

At a rally earlier this month, President Trump told the crowd that including the death penalty for major drug dealers has proved to be effective in other countries such as China.

"A drug dealer will kill 2,000, 3,000, 5,000 people during the course of his or her life. Thousands of people are killed, or their lives are destroyed. Their families are destroyed. So you can kill thousands of people and go to jail for 30 days," President Trump said during his speech.

The topic has people divided -- and San Diegans offered differing views.

"That is way too harsh for something like that. I think that it should be reserved for other, bigger crimes," Arely Esparza said.

But Jason Payne told FOX 5 he thought the idea was worth consideration: "If you put something out there where people really have to go, 'Okay, that`s too much for me to pay. That`s too high of a price for me to pay,' then, you know, it might divert people from doing such a thing."

FOX 5 Legal Analyst Wendy Patrick said that while the conversation is worth having, she feels it would be challenging to impose the death penalty on drug dealers.

"It is difficult enough to find jurors that are willing to impose the death penalty when you have heinous crimes committed. It might be even more difficult to find jurors willing to impose the death penalty for drug dealers," Patrick said.

Regardless, she and so many others are curious to hear more of what President Trump has to say.

"Clearly, the death penalty, that is a very strict deterrent that would perhaps make a lot of people think twice before they committed that particular crime, but the administration also has to consider this on a case-by-case basis. There are lots of different levels of drug dealers. That`s going to be something we continue to talk about," Patrick said.

The Trump administration said his plan will also include prevention and education efforts, and improving federal funding for drug treatment.