Maine’s Governor Wants to Cut Drug Dealers’ Heads Off in Public

Robert F. Bukaty/AP

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Adding to his impressive record for unpredictable, oftentimes offensive statements, Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage on Tuesday suggested the state bring back the use of guillotines to publicly execute drug traffickers.

“I think the death penalty should be appropriate for people who kill Mainers,” LePage said during his weekly radio address on WVOM.  “We should give them an injection of the stuff they sell.”

As the host attempted to wrap up the interview, LePage went further.

“What we ought to do is bring the guillotine back.”

This isn’t the first time LePage has called for punishment in the form of public executions. In June, LePage allegedly told a local developer that state lawmakers should be “rounded up and executed in the public square.”

Tuesday’s bizarre guillotine endorsement comes just weeks after he made racially charged remarks at a town hall event, warning residents about out-of-state drug dealers with names like “D-Money” and “Smoothie.” LePage said these drug dealers come to Maine, where state officials are grappling with a growing heroin epidemic, to sell narcotics and to impregnate young white women.

Those controversial comments sparked national outrage, but LePage dismissed accusations that his comments were racist and blamed the media for the backlash.

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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