Paul LePage Floats Idea of Publicly Beheading Drug Dealers With Guillotine

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Maine Gov. Paul LePage, right, speaks to reporters while visiting C&L Aviation with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014, in Bangor, Maine.  Christie returned to Maine to campaign for LePage's re-election campaign. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
Photo: Robert F. Bukaty

Maine governor Paul LePage, who earlier this month said that drug traffickers “by the name D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty” were impregnating “young, white girl[s] before they leave,” said today that he thought drug dealers should face the death penalty, or at least very long prison sentences.

I think the death penalty should be appropriate for people that kill Mainers,” he told WMOV“We’ve got to go 20 years, we’ve got to keep them here until they die. If you want my honest opinion, we should give them an injection of the stuff they sell.”

As his interviewers tried to wrap up the interviewer, LePage interjected to add one last joke with a laugh. “What we ought to do is bring the guillotine back. We could have public executions and we could even have which hole it falls in.” (Huh?)

“I like French history,” he added.

The death penalty is definitely history in France: No prisoners have been executed there in more than 30 years. The U.S. has never used the guillotine, although several states have been legalizing or debating decidedly retro forms of the death penalty, including firing squads and the electric chair, in the past year, as lethal injection has become nearly impossible. Back in 2014, a federal appeals judge wrote in a dissent that executing someone by guillotine was “probably best,” although it also “seems inconsistent with our national ethos.”

However, this whole debate is a bit moot, as the death penalty has been illegal in Maine since 1887, after a man sentenced to death by hanging was slowly strangled.

Earlier this month, when LePage explained that he didn’t mean to say that white girls were getting impregnated by drug traffickers (he meant to say “Maine women”), the governor noted that he “was going impromptu and my brain didn’t catch up to my mouth.”

LePage also said that he was just going to send his State of the State to legislators instead of giving an address, because he is just sick of everyone yelling at him. “It makes no sense,” he complained. “Last week, they tried to impeach me. This week, they’re throwing rotten tomatoes at me. Why would I go stand in front of them for an hour and a half?” 

New Jersey governor Chris Christie has received an endorsement from his fellow governor in the north, and said he didn’t think LePage’s flubs were a big deal a few weeks ago. "We can’t judge people by one set of remarks they make, especially when they apologize and genuinely apologize afterwards," he said on MSNBC. "So from my perspective, Paul LePage is a good friend of mine, he is an outspoken guy, we all know that he shoots from the hip. And when he does that there’s going to be times when he says things that even he in retrospect thinks he shouldn’t have said."

He did not say how many sets of bad remarks a politician had to accumulate before you could judge them.