The death penalty under 21 U.S.C. 848(e)(1)(A)-(B) was enacted as part of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 and became effective on November 18, 1988. See Pub. L. 100-690, Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4181. In passing this legislation, Congress expressly intended to punish and deter anyone who intentionally kills or counsels, commands, induces, procures, or causes an intentional killing of: (A) any person while (1) engaging in or (2) working in furtherance of any continuing criminal enterprise, or (3) while engaging in a major Federal drug felony; or (B) any law enforcement officer during or in relation to a Federal drug felony. See 134 Cong. Rec. S. 16042 (daily ed. Oct. 14, 1988) (statement of Sen. D'Amato); see also 134 Cong. Rec. H. 7274 (daily ed. Sept. 8, 1988) (statement of Rep. Gekas). Offenses under 21 U.S.C. 848(e) include "any person" who commits or causes another to commit a drug-related intentional killing as defined by the statute, not just "drug kingpins."
Updated May 19, 2015