Thursday, October 29, 2015

Democrat presidential candidates and the death penalty

Hillary Clinton supports the death penalty her opponents in the race for the Democratic nomination for President do not.
Clinton said recently at the Politics & Eggs event at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire, "I do not favor abolishing it, however, because I think there are certain, egregious cases that still deserve the consideration of the death penalty,” reported The Hill.
“But I’d like to see those be very limited and rare, as opposed to what we’ve seen in some states where there are a hundred people on death row who wouldn’t be there in a comparable state."
Clinton added that new evidence suggests that the penalty has been “too frequently applied and, very unfortunately, oftentimes in a discriminatory way.” She said she’s in favor of states taking a harder look at how to use the death penalty.
Both of Clinton’s rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Gov. Martin O’Malley (Md.) disagree.
O’Malley’s campaign put out a statement shortly after Clinton’s comment that highlighted his opposition to the death penalty.
“The death penalty is racially-biased, ineffective deterrent to crime, and we must abolish it. Our nation should not be in the company of Iran, Iraq, China, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen in carrying out the majority of public executions,” he said.
“That's why I abolished it in Maryland, because it is fundamentally at odds with our values. As President, I would work to build consensus to end it nationally."
Sanders has regularly voted against the death penalty while in office, according to analysis by PolitiFact.  He added during an interview in May on the Thom Hartmann radio show, "I'm against capital punishment in general. 
"With so much violence in this world today, I just don't think the state itself, whether the state or federal government, should be in the business of killing people. When you have people who have done terrible, terrible things, they are going to spend the rest of their lives in jail and that's a pretty harsh punishment." 
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