Buttigieg calls for abolishing death penalty

Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegFive takeaways from first Democratic debate lineup Five takeaways from first Democratic debate lineup Democratic presidential hopefuls react to debate placement 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Several states, including Maryland, Connecticut, Illinois and New York, have repealed capital punishment since 2007.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 HarrisKamala Harris rallies with McDonald's workers striking for higher wages Kamala Harris rallies with McDonald's workers striking for higher wages 22 presidential candidates to attend Clyburn's South Carolina fish fry 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 HickenlooperDemocratic presidential hopefuls react to debate placement Democratic presidential hopefuls react to debate placement The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Biden, Sanders to share stage at first DNC debate 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 SandersKamala Harris rallies with McDonald's workers striking for higher wages Kamala Harris rallies with McDonald's workers striking for higher wages Playing fast and loose with the economic facts MORE (I-Vt.), Harris, Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenFive takeaways from first Democratic debate lineup Five takeaways from first Democratic debate lineup Black Economic Alliance official says African-American voters will 'determine who sits in the White House' MORE (D-Mass.), Cory BookerCory Anthony Booker22 presidential candidates to attend Clyburn's South Carolina fish fry 22 presidential candidates to attend Clyburn's South Carolina fish fry Five takeaways from first Democratic debate lineup MORE (D-N.J.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandDemocratic presidential hopefuls react to debate placement Democratic presidential hopefuls react to debate placement The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Biden, Sanders to share stage at first DNC debate MORE (D-N.Y.) and Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharHillicon Valley: Hacker group targeted electric grid | House Democrats press CBP over facial recognition program | Senators offer bill to protect health data | Groups file FCC complaint over carriers' use of location data Hillicon Valley: Hacker group targeted electric grid | House Democrats press CBP over facial recognition program | Senators offer bill to protect health data | Groups file FCC complaint over carriers' use of location data It's time to let Medicare to negotiate drug prices MORE (D-Minn.) who are all slated to speak at the convention.