Buttigieg calls for abolishing death penalty

Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegAndrew Cuomo: Biden has best chance at 'main goal' of beating Trump Poll: Buttigieg tops Harris, O'Rourke as momentum builds Buttigieg responds to accusation of pushing a 'hate hoax' about Pence MORE, the Democratic mayor of South Bend, Ind., and a likely 2020 presidential candidate, on Thursday called for abolishing the death penalty.

Speaking at the 2019 National Action Network Convention in New York City, Buttigieg said capital punishment "has always been a discriminatory practice."

“As we work to end mandatory minimums for nonviolent offenses, as we work to put an end to prolonged solitary confinement, which is a form of torture, here too we must be intentional about fixing disparities that have strong and deeply unfair racial consequences,” he said while discussing criminal justice reform.

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“Speaking of sentencing disparities, it is time to face the simple fact that capital punishment as seen in America has always been a discriminatory practice and we would be a fairer and safer country when we join the ranks of modern nations who have abolished the death penalty," he added.

Several states, including Maryland, Connecticut, Illinois and New York, have repealed capital punishment since 2007. California suspended the death penalty last month.

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisJulián Castro: Trump should be impeached for trying to obstruct justice 'in very concrete ways' Poll: Buttigieg tops Harris, O'Rourke as momentum builds Trump Jr. slams 2020 Dems as 'more concerned' about rights of murderers than legal gun owners MORE (D-Calif.), a 2020 presidential candidate, praised California's decision to do so earlier this month.

Former Colorado governor and 2020 hopeful John HickenlooperJohn Wright HickenlooperWhere 2020 Democratic candidates stand on impeachment Bernie Sanders claims his Sister Souljah moment Cory Booker has a problem in 2020: Kamala Harris MORE (D) has also said that he would suspend capital punishment if elected.

Buttigieg, 37, announced a presidential exploratory committee in January and has since surged in popularity. He hinted early Thursday that he will formally declare his 2020 presidential candidacy later this month.

The National Action Network Convention this week will also feature 2020 candidates vying for the Democratic nomination, including Sens. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersAndrew Cuomo: Biden has best chance at 'main goal' of beating Trump Poll: Buttigieg tops Harris, O'Rourke as momentum builds Buttigieg responds to accusation of pushing a 'hate hoax' about Pence MORE (I-Vt.), Harris, Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenJulián Castro: Trump should be impeached for trying to obstruct justice 'in very concrete ways' Poll: Biden tops Sanders nationally Pete Buttigieg: 'God doesn't have a political party' MORE (D-Mass.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerHarris adds another to her list of endorsements in South Carolina The Hill's Morning Report - Dem candidates sell policy as smart politics 2020 Dems rebuke Trump on Iran, say they'd put US back in nuclear deal MORE (D-N.J.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandGillibrand pledges not to use 'stolen hacked' materials in 2020 campaign 2020 Dems rebuke Trump on Iran, say they'd put US back in nuclear deal Where 2020 Democratic candidates stand on impeachment MORE (D-N.Y.) and Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharStudent slams Klobuchar for trying to classify pizza sauce as vegetable Pete Buttigieg: 'God doesn't have a political party' The Hill's Morning Report - Dem candidates sell policy as smart politics MORE (D-Minn.) who are all slated to speak at the convention.