Joe Biden has reversed a major sticking point from his time in the Senate.
The former vice president has joined up with nearly every Democrat running for president, revealing that he supports ending the death penalty nationwide. Biden previously supported the death penalty, but in his criminal justice plan unveiled Tuesday, he said he'll work to abolish the death penalty at both the state and federal levels.
Biden unveiled a sweeping criminal justice platform on Tuesday, which acknowledges that "too many people are incarcerated in the United States — and too many of them are black and brown." So he's pledged to "root out the racial, gender, and income-based disparities in the system" while rerouting criminal justice toward "redemption and rehabilitation."
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
Part of that plan includes eliminating the death penalty because "over 160 individuals who’ve been sentenced to death in this country since 1973 have later been exonerated," Biden's website reads. So if he's elected, Biden says he'll "work to pass legislation to eliminate the death penalty at the federal level, and incentivize states to follow the federal government's example."
That plan puts Biden in line with Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and pretty much every other 2020 Democrat. Biden had advocated for capital punishment while in the Senate , but appeared to be dropping that stance over the past few months.
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.