October 28, 2015

FLASHBACK: In 1994, Clinton Pushed For Death Penalty Expansion

Last week it was DOMA, this week it’s the death penalty.

Hillary Clinton was eager to rewrite history in a way that benefits her as a presidential candidate today. But the problem for Clinton is, despite her best efforts, she can’t escape her past.

Today in New Hampshire, Clinton had this to say about the death penalty:

CLINTON: “Well, look, I think that we have a lot of evidence now that the death penalty has been too frequently applied and very unfortunately, oftentimes, in a discriminatory way. So I think we have to take a hard look at it and a lot of states are doing that. As you can read, because states are beginning to pull back from either applying the death penalty or narrowing the scope of the cases where it can be applied, I personally think that’s all too the good. I do not favor abolishing it, however, because I think there are certain egregious cases that still deserve the consideration of the death penalty, but I’d like to see those be very limited and rare, as opposed to what we have seen in some states, where there are hundreds of people on death row and they would not be on death row in a comparable state, for example. So I think we have to be smarter and more careful about how we do it.”

But in 1994, Clinton lobbied Democratic lawmakers to accept “a major expansion of the federal death penalty” as part an omnibus crime bill—a deeply unpopular measure among Democrats today that was signed by President Bill Clinton. And in 2000, when Clinton was First Lady and running for Senate, she “went out of her way to note her support for the death penalty,” per The New York Times.