Mayoral Candidate in Alabama calling for Drug Dealers to be Hanged

"I think everybody has an opinion and that’s OK.”
Candidate Michael Ray James for mayor of Sylacauga, AL.

A candidate for mayor in the small Alabama city of Sylacauga, Michael Ray James, is calling for drug dealers to be publicly hanged.

What We Know:

  • The 59-year-old special education teacher, has included in his platform a proposal to publicly hang drug dealers who are arrested or convicted multiple times. He’s written about the proposal in several posts and comments on his campaign Facebook page.
  • “Yes, I’m very aware public hanging is extreme and totally not possible without Federal Approvals and not from city or state officials,” James wrote on Facebook. He makes it clear that it is extreme, but definitely brings attention to this issue on Sylacauga and the country as a whole.
  • “I understand their position,” James said in a phone interview with AL.com. “It’s just a difference of opinion. I think everybody has an opinion and that’s OK.”
  • James acknowledged that his proposal is at odds with the law and nearly impossible to implement but said he still supports the idea as one of the solutions against the War on Drugs.
  • “I am serious about, after somebody has been convicted three times, I am very serious about them losing their life, whether it’s to lethal injection or hanging,” James said of those convicted of dealing drugs.
  • In addition to calling for the public hangings, James said he would make other changes, including removing the “inactive and lazy” city council and requesting an FBI audit of the city, if elected to be the next mayor of Sylacauga.

Through his years of teaching, James said he’s seen the affects drugs can have on families and children. He said some of his students have gone without food, been placed in foster care or struggled with behavioral issues because of the stress and trauma caused by their parents’ drug addiction.

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Javier Garay is Media & News SVCS Intern at UnmutedCo.

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