USA: THREE KEY DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES TAKE POSITION ON THE DEATH PENALTY
October 29, 2015: Hillary Clinton affirmed her support for the death penalty in limited circumstances during an appearance yesterday while criticizing the heavy-handed use of the punishment in some states.
"I do not favor abolishing it, however, because I think there are certain, egregious cases that still deserve the consideration of the death penalty," she said at the "Politics & Eggs" event at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire. "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 shows 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 (D-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 on the Thom Hartmann Radio Show, "I'm against capital punishment in general," he said in May. "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."
Sanders took to the Senate floor Thursday to highlight his opposition to the death penalty in his latest bid to draw policy distinctions with Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton. The senator from Vermont said he understands that people are "shocked and disgusted" by horrific killings, but he argued that the government "should not be involved in the murder of other Americans." (Source: thehill.com, Washington Post, 29/10/2015)