Beto O’Rourke: ‘I Don’t Support the Death Penalty’ for El Paso Shooter

Former US Congressman Beto O'Rourke and his wife Amy formally kick off his campaign for the 2020 US Presidential election with a rally on Congress Avenue in Austin,Texas on 03/30/2019 Credit: Globe / MediaPunch /IPX
Globe / MediaPunch /IPX via AP

Former Congressman Beto O’Rourke said Monday he did not support the death penalty for the El Paso mass shooter.

O’Rourke was asked about capital punishment by a reporter during his visit to the site of the Oklahoma City bombing.

He replied:

I don’t support the death penalty. I don’t know that taking another life will prevent the taking of lives going forward. I understand that some people feel differently, and it’s hard to argue with them after seeing the faces of the lives lost. It’s hard to argue with those in El Paso who feel that way, when someone came in and killed 22 human beings in our community. But at the end of the day, that’s my belief and — but I understand those who feel differently about it.

Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was executed in 2001 after he was found guilty for killing 168 people in the act of domestic terror.

The El Paso shooter, Patrick Crusius, was apprehended alive and charged with killing 22 and injuring 25. He is currently on suicide watch at the El Paso County Detention Facility. State prosecutors announced they will pursue the death penalty as an act of domestic terrorism.

O’Rourke now opposes the death penalty, despite voting in support of a House bill in 2017 that would expand death penalty determinations to include targeting law enforcement and first responders.

He indicated afterward the vote for a bill was a mistake.

“That was a poor decision on my part. I’ve never supported the death penalty,” O’Rourke said to HuffPost in March.

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