Over The Top

Gingrich Pushed Execution for Drug Smugglers

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Despite attempts to paint himself as a “Washington Outsider,” Newt Gingrich was a member of U.S. Congress for 20 years, four of which he spent as the speaker of the House of Representatives. So he has a record of pushing ideas and legislation, such as the Drug Importer Death Penalty Act of 1996. This bill proposes a life sentence for anyone caught bringing relatively small amounts—such as more than two ounces of marijuana—of drugs into the country, and execution for repeat offenders. Not only does this unpassed bill propose the death penalty for a nonviolent crime, it was strangely pushed by a lawmaker who is himself a confessed pot smoker.