THE BLOG
11/29/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Many Holes in Candidates' Positions on Criminal Justice

By Lindsay Lazarski

The crumbling economy, taxes, and the Iraq War have soaked up the limelight when it comes to the 2008 Presidential Election. With less than one week left before voters' caste their ballots, questions about Senator John McCain and Senator Barack Obama's positions on incarceration and criminal justice remain unanswered.

According to the Sentencing Project, a nonpartisan research and advocacy organization, little specifics are known about the candidates' viewpoints to reform the federal prison system.

Based on information from the candidates' past records, Obama, who was once against the death penalty, currently supports it for monstrous crimes. As an Illinois State Senator, Obama also lead the charge in passing legislation that requires confessions and interrogations to be videotaped to prevent death sentencing errors in capitol cases.

Senator John McCain, who has been labeled as "tough-on-crime," is a firm supporter of the death penalty. In his past votes, during the mid-nineties, McCain showed support for restricting appeals to the death penalty and was against using the defense of racial discrimination within appeals. McCain has favored violent offenders to serve their complete sentences, with no opportunity for parole.

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