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Candidate Positions on Death penalty

The following positions reflect those used for each candidate in the Select A Candidate survey. They come from the candidates; public statements, Web sites, and responses to Minnesota Public Radio questionnaires. In some cases, candidiates have failed to respond to inquiries, and their position is noted as "No known opinion."

Question: Do you favor or oppose the use of the death penalty for certain crimes?
Bob BarrBob Barr ANSWER OPTION: Favor
CANDIDATE'S POSITION: Barr wrote on his web site in August, 2007 "I am a firm believer in the propriety and historic soundness of the death penalty. But, as a proponent of our Constitution and its attendant Bill of Rights, I believe just as strongly in the fundamental fairness that lies at the heart -- or should lie at the heart -- of our criminal justice system. Because of its obvious finality, the death penalty must be employed with as close to absolute fairness and certainty as humanly possible." (More Info)

John McCainJohn McCain ANSWER OPTION: Favor
CANDIDATE'S POSITION: According to the Pew Forum on Religion and American Life, "McCain supports the death penalty for federal crimes. As senator from Arizona, he voted to prohibit the use of racial statistics in death penalty appeals and ban the death penalty for minors. He also supported legislation to allow the death penalty for acts of terrorism and has said he would consider further expansion of capital punishment laws for other crimes." (More Info)

Ralph NaderRalph Nader ANSWER OPTION: Oppose
CANDIDATE'S POSITION: Nader told Meet the Press in 2000 "Since I was a law student, I have been against the death penalty. It does not deter. It is severely discriminatory against minorities, especially since they're given no competent legal counsel defense in many cases. It's a system that has to be perfect. You cannot execute one innocent person. No system is perfect. And to top it off, for those of you who are interested in the economics it, it costs more to pursue a capital case toward execution than it does to have full life imprisonment without parole." (More Info)

Barack ObamaBarack Obama ANSWER OPTION: Favor
CANDIDATE'S POSITION: According to the Pew Forum on Religion and American Life, "Obama says the death penalty "does little to deter crime" but he supports it for cases in which 'the community is justified in expressing the full measure of its outrage.' While a state senator, Obama pushed for reform of the Illinois capital punishment system and authored a bill to mandate the videotaping of interrogations and confessions." (More Info)