Donald Trump on Thursday continued his tradition of making bombastic, authoritarian policy statements that reveal his own ignorance about how the presidency works.
"One of the first things I do in terms of executive order if I win, will be to sign a strong, strong statement that will go out to the country, out to the world, that anybody killing a policeman, policewoman, police officer, anybody killing the police officer -- death penalty," Trump said speaking to a police group in New Hampshire. "It's gonna happen, okay?"
In reality, thankfully, the president does not have the authority order somebody executed.
Laws governning the use of the death penalty can be made by Congress or state legislatures. Though the federal government could pursue the death penalty in federal cases (such as the Boston bomber), generally they are handled at the state level. There have been 200 federal death penalty cases brought to trial since 1988.