South Bend Mayor and 2020 Democrat presidential contender Pete Buttigieg on Thursday called for capital punishment to be abolished in the United States, describing it as something that “has always been a discriminatory practice.”
“As we work to end mandatory minimums for nonviolent offenses, as we work to put an end to prolonged solitary confinement, which is a form of torture, here too we must be intentional about fixing disparities that have strong and deeply unfair racial consequences,” Buttigieg said in his remarks before the 2019 National Action Network Convention in New York.
“Speaking of sentencing disparities, it is time to face the simple fact that capital punishment as seen in America has always been a discriminatory practice and we would be a fairer and safer country when we join the ranks of modern nations who have abolished the death penalty,” the 37-year-old added. Several 2020 candidates, including Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) are scheduled to speak at the conference organized by the controversial progressive activist Al Sharpton.
Buttigieg joins former Colorado Gov. and presidential candidate John Hickenlooper in calling for the government-sanctioned practice to be outlawed. Last month, White House hopeful Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA) lauded California’s decision to ban capital punishment, calling it “immoral, discriminatory, ineffective, and proven to be unequally applied.”
Buttigieg launched his presidential exploratory committee in January and has enjoyed a bounce in the polls due to favor media coverage from the establishment press. On Thursday, the small town mayor, who raised more than $7 million in the first quarter, hinted he will formally announce a bid for the White House by the end of April.