Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Home Stretch Questions for Gary Johnson, #2

Former Governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson spe...
Former Governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson speaking at a Campaign for Liberty event at CPAC.  (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore via Wikipedia)

Governor Johnson, as of 1996 you supported having state employees kill 13-year-old prisoners:

Have you changed your mind about that?

And have you changed your mind on your 1997 support for lowering the bar from unanimity to majority vote for a jury to decide to have state employees kill prisoners?

What's your position on capital punishment this week?

In October 2001 you said that Terry Clark deserved to die and signed the death warrant for the first execution in New Mexico in 41 years. But by January of 2002 you were claiming to be against the death penalty. Kind of. Sort of. In one of those "say it, then take it back" ways you have:

"I believe in the death penalty ... I believe in an eye for an eye. I believe that if you kill somebody, you should pay for that act with your own life. But I have become convinced that the death penalty as public policy is flawed and shouldn't exist."

Errrrr ...

One of your Democratic opponents in the state senate implied that you were trying to trade death penalty repeal for the drug law relaxations you wanted. And it turned out you had actually said you would -- before retracting the offer: "I was asked at a press conference if I would consider trading the death penalty for the passage of the drug reform measures ... I said, 'Yeah, I probably would.' After I said it, I said, 'Time out. Let me renege on what I just said.' I would not trade that off. I'm telling you that because this is something I believe in and I will judge it on its own merits."

An exasperated Jim Belshaw confessed in an op-ed for the Albuquerque Journal to "rhetorical whiplash" over your backs and forths on capital punishment. "Is he sincere?" asked Belshaw. "I don't know. Only he does."

I don't know either. So I thought I'd ask.

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