Bernie Sanders Says the Death Penalty is “Murder,” But He’s Fine With Killing Babies in Abortions

National   |   Mark Finkelstein   |   Nov 2, 2015   |   2:10PM   |   Washington, DC

I took it for granted that a leftist like Bernie Sanders would be opposed to the death penalty.

Still, I was truly shocked to see Sanders—not in some throwaway comment on the campaign trail but in prepared remarks on the Senate floor—flatly call the death penalty “murder.” On his MSNBC show this morning, Al Sharpton played the clip to illustrate how Sanders is working to differentiate his policy positions from those of Hillary Clinton, who says she supports the death penalty in “rare” cases.

Question: how can we begin to explain the moral compass of liberals like Sanders who call imposing the death penalty on adults duly convicted of heinous crimes “murder,” but refer to the killing of innocent, unborn babies as “choice” or other grotesque euphemisms like “women’s health?”

AL SHARPTON: With Biden out, Hillary Clinton is building her lead. The latest NBC poll conducted by Survey Monkey shows a Clinton lead at 50%, Sanders is at 30%. And he’s trying to draw a sharp contrast with her on issues, like the death penalty. Here’s what Clinton said on Wednesday.

HILLARY CLINTON: I do not favor abolishing it, however, because I think there are certain egregious cases that still deserve the consideration of the death penalty but I’d like to see those be very limited and rare.

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SHARPTON: The very next day, Sanders went on the Senate floor to say the opposite.

BERNIE SANDERS: The state itself in a democratic, civilized society should itself not be involved in the murder of other Americans. We must end capital punishment in this country.

ANNOUNCER: Politics Nation with Al Sharpton will be right back. Note: Mark Finkelstein has a B.S. from Cornell University, an Ed.M. and a J.D. magna cum laude from SUNY Buffalo, and an LL.M. from Harvard. He lives in Ithaca, NY where he hosts “Right Angle,” a local political talk show. Finkelstein is a Contributing Editor at MRC’s NewsBusters blog, where this article originally appeared.