Capital Punishment Emerges As Issue In CA Governor Race


California Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman began airing an ad that claims her opponent, state Attorney General Jerry Brown, is soft on crime and opposes capital punishment, even for those who gun down law enforcement officers, says the Los Angeles Times. “Jerry Brown opposes the death penalty,” a police sergeant says in the 15-second spot. A police officer responds, “Even for cop killers.”

In reality, Brown has long voiced personal opposition to the death penalty but has vociferously defended it as the state’s attorney general. Brown has taken on at least 500 capital cases as the state’s top law-enforcement official. Brown, speaking at a news conference, said that for decades he had pledged to uphold the death penalty despite his personal beliefs because it was the will of the people. Still, Brown avoided using the more heated rhetoric he had used about the matter in the past, such as when he called it a “barbarism that offends every religious sentiment ever conceived.” Asked if he remains personally opposed to capital punishment, Brown said, “I would prefer a society that didn’t need to use death as a punishment and I’m not going to go beyond that.”

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