Hillary Saved Man From Electric Chair; Capital Punishment Views Unknown


As a young lawyer, Hillary Clinton helped save a mentally handicapped black man from the electric chair. This is not a fact she has promoted in her years as a tough-on-crime U.S. senator or amid her presidential campaign. Politico reports on her role in an appeal to save Henry Giles, a convicted murderer in 1976 when she headed the legal aid clinic at the University of Arkansas. Her involvement in the case shows a profound shift in her views over time on an issue she last discussed publicly in her 2000 race for the U.S. Senate. Her comments that the death penalty had her “unenthusiastic support” riled the most liberal wing of the Democratic Party. Bill Clinton carried out executions as Arkansas governor and loudly defended capital punishment as he sought to establish himself as a law-and-order Democrat during his 1992 White House bid.

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