Clinton Was Just Asked About The Death Penalty In A Really Powerful Way

by John Haltiwanger
Getty Images

On Sunday night, Hillary Clinton was asked about capital punishment in a very powerful way during a Democratic town hall event.

A man who was wrongfully accused of murder and exonerated after spending 39 years in prison, some of this time on death row, questioned Clinton about her support for the death penalty.

The man, named Ricky Jackson, told Clinton his story while fighting back tears.

He asked,

In light of that, what I've just shared with you, and in light of the fact that there are documented cases of innocent people who have been executed in our country, I would like to know how can you still take your stance on the death penalty.

This was an extremely profound and emotive way of challenging the former secretary of state about her stance on a controversial issue.

Hillary Clinton offered an emotionally charged response of her own and contended she only supports use of capital punishment under limited circumstances.

A majority of Americans (around 61 percent) continue to favor the use of the death penalty for people who commit murder.

But, many liberals would like to see capital punishment abolished in the US. Clinton's Democratic opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders, is a fervent advocate for ending the use of the death penalty.

Correspondingly, it's worth noting around two-thirds of the world's countries abolished capital punishment.

Many organizations, including the United Nations and Amnesty International, called on America to stop executing people. By retaining the death penalty, the US remains in the same company as countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, China and North Korea.

Moreover, as Jackson highlighted via his poignant question for Clinton, there are far too many innocent people placed on death row.

There's also the fact the death penalty disproportionately impacts minorities. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, people of color accounted for 43 percent of all executions since 1976 and presently constitute 55 percent of those awaiting execution.

This is obviously an issue worthy of public discussion.

Regardless of where you stand on capital punishment, take a moment to watch Jackson's question and Clinton's response in the video below. They're both very thought-provoking.

Citations: Solid Majority Continue to Support Death Penalty (Gallup), US / Death penalty: UN experts call for federal moratorium as Boston bomber gets death sentence - See more at: (United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner), Shocking Number Of Innocent People Sentenced To Death, Study Finds (Huffington Post), RACE AND THE DEATH PENALTY (American Civil Liberties Union)