- Sources tell Rolling Stone that Trump has been talking about how the executions could fit into campaign messages.
- Trump asked advisers about bringing back the firing squad and the use of guillotines, sources said.
- Sources also tell Rolling Stone that Trump has discussed the idea of group executions.
Former President Donald Trump has been asking advisers what they think of bringing back firing squads and other banned methods of execution, reports Rolling Stone.
Rolling Stone spoke with three anonymous sources about the campaign-related conversations Trump is having with his associates. According to these sources, Trump has on more than one occasion asked his aides questions such as: “What do you think of firing squads?”
Two Rolling Stone sources say Trump has had discussions with his aides about everything from bringing back group executions to using banned execution methods like the guillotine.
A third source who spoke to Rolling Stone said Trump had also privately considered whether it would be possible to launch a publicity campaign to promote these methods of execution. That publicity campaign would involve showing footage of the executions, the source said.
“The former president believes this would help instill the fear of God in violent criminals,” the source told Rolling Stone. “He wanted to do some of those things when he was in office, but for whatever reason he didn’t get the chance.”
A Trump spokesperson told Rolling Stone that his third source’s retelling of a possible Trump ad campaign with televised executions is “ridiculous” and “fake news”.
But when asked about the sources’ comments about Trump’s interest in alternative methods of execution, the spokesperson referred Rolling Stone to Trump’s 2024 campaign announcement in November. During that speech, Trump was heard calling for the death penalty for anyone “caught selling drugs”.
At a rally in September, Trump also urged Congress to immediately institute the death penalty for drug dealers. That’s despite Trump himself granting pardons to people who served time on drug trafficking charges.
Trump ended his term with a series of federal executions – his administration executed 13 people between July 2020 and January 2021. The Trump administration also changed federal execution protocols before leaving office, charting a path for the government to use gas poisonous and fire squads in future executions.
Trump is not the only GOP figure who has expressed an interest in facilitating the execution of people.
In February, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis proposed a change to Florida law that would eliminate the need for a jury to unanimously agree before someone could be sentenced to death. DeSantis’ decision came after a jury failed to reach unanimous agreement on whether the Parkland shooter should be sentenced to death. The shooter was sentenced to life in prison for killing 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida on February 14, 2018.
“We are going to reform capital sentencing procedure in Florida,” DeSantis said at a news conference in Florida on Tuesday – the fifth anniversary of the Parkland shooting. “You kill 17 people – what other penalty can you get besides the final penalty?”
A Trump spokesman did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.