09/22/2011 05:53 pm ET Updated Nov 22, 2011

Late Returns: Gary Johnson Offers Contrasting Stance On Capital Punishment

Recent events have provided ample catalyst for a lengthy discussion on the death penalty tonight. And if it comes up, Alex Pareene notes that former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson -- who ends his lengthy exclusion from the debating field with tonight's appearance -- is primed to offer a different take than the rest of the field:

Johnson undertook a very public conversion on the subject while acting as governor of New Mexico. He initially sought to expand capital sentences to minors, while limiting appeals. By the end of his time in office, he'd reversed himself. He now opposes the death penalty completely:

Scott Holleran: You oppose the death penalty. Why?

Gary Johnson: As governor of New Mexico, I was a bit naïve and I did not think the government made mistakes with regard to the death penalty. I came to realize that they do. I don’t want to put one innocent person to death to punish 99 who are guilty.

Paul, it should be noted, opposes the death penalty, but sees it as a "state issue."

Read the whole thing. [War Room @ Salon]

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Florida looks unlikely to indulge in any Arizona-style primary calendar shenanigans, as GOP officials in the state see their "fifth-place position" as affording the state the chance to be the one that determines the GOP nominee. (The emerging thought being that the prospects of a long and drawn-out nomination fight are dimming.) [The New Republic; The Plum Line]

In response to our piece downgrading the notion of a Sarah Palin presidential run to "sub-prime," an email tipster sends along this piece from Alaska Dispatch, which asserts that Todd Palin's decision to enter a snowmobile race makes it unlikely that Palin will run. Yes, this is apparently how major political figures make their decisions now. [Alaska Dispatch]

Mitt Romney is apparently going to associate himself with brands that help burnish the idea that he is not some rich, elitist, robot, so look for him to work in awkward plugs for your local burger joint whenever he comes to town. (He will probably start using a slap-chop now, also.) [The New York Times]

In the 2012 Massachusetts Senate race, Elizabeth Warren has a ways to go before she can prove that poll putting her ahead of Scott Brown bears out or reveals itself as an outlier. In more pressing polling matters, however, she is already crushing her ersatz competition in the Democratic primary, with a 46-point lead on her closest competitor, Alan Khazei. [Public Policy Polling]

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