Buttigieg calls for abolishing death penalty

Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegBiden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process Here's how Biden can win over the minority vote and the Rust Belt 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Several states, including Maryland, Connecticut, Illinois and New York, have repealed capital punishment since 2007.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 HarrisThe Hill's Morning Report - Protesters' defiance met with calls to listen Calls for police reform sparks divisions in Congress Harris: Trump 'just tear-gassed peaceful protesters for a photo op' 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 HickenlooperThe 10 Senate seats most likely to flip OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Coal company sues EPA over power plant pollution regulation | Automakers fight effort to freeze fuel efficiency standards | EPA watchdog may probe agency's response to California water issues McConnell gives two vulnerable senators a boost with vote on outdoor recreation bill 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 SandersBernie SandersBiden wins DC primary Biden wins Montana primary Biden wins New Mexico primary MORE (I-Vt.), Harris, Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenThe Hill's Morning Report - Protesters' defiance met with calls to listen Biden wins DC primary Warren asks Pentagon IG to probe military role in Trump's protest response MORE (D-Mass.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerCalls for police reform sparks divisions in Congress Schumer calls on McConnell to schedule vote on law enforcement reform bill before July 4 This week: Senate reconvenes as protests roil nation amid pandemic MORE (D-N.J.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandSenate Dems press DOJ over coronavirus safety precautions in juvenile detention centers Senate Democrat introduces bill to protect food supply It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE (D-N.Y.) and Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharWebb: The modern age of dissent versus riot Bottom line Judd Gregg: Biden — a path to the presidency, or not MORE (D-Minn.) who are all slated to speak at the convention.