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Bernie Sanders opposes the death penalty for Dylann Roof and teaches us something important

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- Commentary

Being against the death penalty isn’t always easy, as it means that you can find yourself defending the lives of some truly horrible people who committed some truly horrible crimes. From this perspective, it’s hard to find a more difficult person in the United States to defend right now than Dylann Roof, the racist mass murderer who gunned down nine black parishioners at a church in Charleston, South Carolina.

That said, I think if you’re against the death penalty, you shouldn’t make exceptions for really, really despicable people whose crimes go far beyond what the typical death row inmate gets executed for. With this in mind, I was happy to see Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders reiterate that his opposition to the death penalty extends even to cases like Dylann Roof’s.

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“Sen. Sanders opposes the death penalty,” Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs told The Huffington Post. “He believes those who are convicted of the most horrible crimes should be imprisoned for the rest of their lives without the possibility of parole.”

Regardless, the government announced this week that it would seek the death penalty for Roof and if he’s convicted it’s hard to imagine that he gets anything less.

If you’re someone who is opposed to capital punishment, are you making an exception for Dylann Roof? Or do you believe opposing the death penalty means opposing it for everyone?

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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If Trump were the raving mad King of Liechtenstein all of this would be comical

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

This week, a former White House official told Politico that “Trump’s been asking his government for some matter of months what can we do to make sure that China doesn’t get Greenland.”

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Donald Trump and the Jews: He’s exactly why most of us vote for Democrats

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If President Trump doesn't understand why a large majority of American Jews are Democrats, maybe he should take a look in the mirror.

In case you need a quick refresher, Trump sparked an enormous furor on Tuesday when he said, "I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty." He added that "five years ago, the concept of even talking about this . . . of cutting off aid to Israel because of two people that hate Israel and hate Jewish people — I can't believe we're even having this conversation. Where has the Democratic Party gone? Where have they gone where they're defending these two people over the State of Israel?"

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A likely recession could doom Trump

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President Donald Trump is worried that there will be a recession before the 2020 election. For once, he is right about something.

This article first appeared in Salon.

"The Economy is strong and good, whereas the rest of the world is not doing so well. Despite this the Fake News Media, together with their Partner, the Democrat Party, are working overtime to convince people that we are in, or will soon be going into, a Recession," Trump tweeted on Friday in a clear attempt to assuage concerns. "They are willing to lose their wealth, or a big part of it, just for the possibility of winning the Election. But it won’t work because I always find a way to win, especially for the people!"

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