Dem. Platform Deletes Support for Death Penalty

If we needed only one reason to support John Kerry, this might be it. For the first time since 1992, the Democratic Party Platform will not contain an endorsement of the death penalty. John Nichols writes:

Simply put, on the question of execution, John Kerry is a very different Democrat from Bill Clinton and Al Gore. Clinton and Gore, while surely aware that capital punishment is an ineffective and racially and economically biased vehicle for fighting crime, were willing to embrace it as a political tool. Clinton even rushed back to Arkansas during the 1992 campaign to oversee the execution of a mentally retarded inmate. With Clinton and Gore steering the party's policies, Democratic platforms endorsed capital punishment. But Clinton and Gore are no longer at the helm. And as of tonight, the party will no longer be on record as supporting the death penalty. Asked about the removal of the pro-capital punishment language, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., who chairs the committee that drafted the document, explained that "it's a reflection of John Kerry."

As we've reported several times, including here , John Kerry is opposed to the death penalty for all but foeign terrorists--and that exception arose after 9-11. Nichols expands on his position, writing:

Kerry opposes the execution of juveniles, supports greater access to DNA testing for death row inmates, and argues that studies "reveal serious questions, racial bias, and deep disparities in the way the death penalty is applied." Kerry was a co-sponsor of the National Death Penalty Moratorium Act of 2001 and of the National Death Penalty Moratorium Act of 2003. "I know something about killing," Kerry says, referring to his service in Vietnam as a swift boat commander. "I don't like killing. That's just a personal belief I have."

Kerry is a former prosecutor. We have friends that worked as assistants when he was the DA in Boston. Rikki Klieman, the great criminal defense attorney and NBC legal analyst for one. She raves about Kerry as a prosecutor. She writes about him in her book, Fairy Tales Can Come True.

John Kerry has said he could never be a defense attorney. His heart lies with the prosecution. We don't mind that at all since he was one of those rare prosecutors that cared about doing justice more than his office's win/loss record.

< John Kerry's "Send Me" | Tuesday at the DNC >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort: