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

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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.

“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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How Tucker Carlson’s quest to ‘trigger the libs’ mainstreamed ‘unfettered white nationalism’

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Fox News is America's most watched cable news network. But at least with respect to its prime-time commentary programs, Fox News is not "news" at all, but a right-wing propaganda machine that has helped to fracture American politics by undermining the shared sense of empirical reality necessary for a healthy democracy.

This article was originally published at Salon

Fox News is both a mouthpiece for President Trump and a mechanism for implanting ideas and voices in Trump's head. Trump then repeats these ideas and parrots the voices, sometimes word for word, believing they are his own.

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Republicans will never say that racism is ‘racism’ — basically because they’re racist

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Is there any expression of racism that Republicans will actually admit is racism? It's a question on a lot of progressive minds in the wake of Donald Trump demonizing female congresswomen of color with the "go back" canard that white nationalists and other assorted racists have long used to abuse anyone with heritage they dislike, whether that heritage is Jewish, Irish, Italian, African, Latin American or Muslim. Telling someone to "go back" is, in the ranks of racist statements, right up there with calling a person the N-word or some other rank slur. Yet, there still appears to be resistance among Republicans to admitting that is racism, which leads many on the left to wonder: If this doesn't count, then what could possibly count?

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Rand Paul just blocked the 9/11 victim fund because it isn’t paid for — but didn’t care when it was a $1.5 trillion tax cut

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Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) blocked a call for unanimous consent on Wednesday to push forward with a funding extension for the victims of 9/11, claiming that the new spending should be paid for.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) called for the bill to be passed in the Senate by unanimous consent, but even a single lawmaker’s objection can block the move and slow down the process. The measure is still widely expected to pass, but Paul wants to use the opportunity to complain about the national debt.

“We need to address our massive debt in this country,” he said “We have a $22 trillion debt. We’re adding debt at about a trillion dollars a year. And therefore any new spending that we are approaching, any new program that’s going to have the longevity of 70-80 years, should be offset by cutting spending that’s less valuable. We need to at least have this debate.”

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