• Reuters

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U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions instructed federal prosecutors on Wednesday to seek the death penalty in drug-related cases whenever it is “appropriate,” saying the Justice Department must boost efforts to counter an epidemic of opioid abuse.

His mandate to prosecutors followed a plan announced by President Donald Trump earlier this week that called for executing opioid dealers and traffickers. The call for greater use of the death penalty in federal drug cases has already sparked a backlash from criminal justice reform groups who say it is the wrong response to a public health crisis.

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