News & Politics

Kamala Harris Calls for Moratorium on the Death Penalty—Even for Treason Against the U.S.

Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris, of California, formally launches her presidential campaign at a rally in her hometown of Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

On Wednesday, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) — a 2020 presidential candidate — praised Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) for placing a moratorium on the death penalty in the Golden State. On Thursday, she called for a national moratorium, even opposing the death penalty for those convicted of treason and taking up arms against the United States.

Harris voiced her position on treason in a National Public Radio interview with Steve Inskeep.

“California’s current governor, Gavin Newsom, has this week, as I am sure you know, announced a moratorium on the death penalty in California. Is there a federal equivalent that you would do? Federal executions, of course, are quite rare. But there’s a federal death penalty,” Inskeep said.

Harris said she did support a federal moratorium on the death penalty. “Yes, I think that there should be” one.

Inskeep clarified: “A moratorium, an end?”

“Yes. I do, I do believe that,” the senator replied.

“No one would be executed?” the NPR host asked.

“Correct,” Harris said.

Inskeep pressed again, asking if the federal death penalty would be discontinued “if you were president of the United States?”

“Correct,” the 2020 candidate said.

“For any crime?” the NPR host asked.

“Correct,” Harris said.

Incredulous, Inskeep went for one of the crimes most associated with the death penalty — treason. He asked if Kamala Harris would oppose the death penalty for any crime, “Not even, I don’t know, treason.”

“Not in the United States, no,” Harris said.

“There’s nothing that rises to that level?” the NPR host asked.

“Not in the United States, no,” the 2020 candidate said.

Inskeep arguably should have kept going. Does Kamala Harris oppose the death penalty for a serial rapist? How about a mass murderer?

Before running for president, Harris was a tough-on-crime attorney general in California. She has taken flak for changing her tune on marijuana and other issues, hastily rushing to the Left to catch up to her party.

When it comes to the death penalty, however, Harris has proven remarkably consistent. She actually got in trouble in 2004 when she opposed the death penalty for a man accused of murdering a police officer.

Kamala Harris opposed the death penalty for a cop killer, and she opposes the death penalty for someone who commits treason — the only crime defined in the U.S. Constitution.

Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.