Warren, Biden Reject Trump Plan to Speed Executions for Slayings

Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou and Tyler Pager

(Bloomberg) -- Leading Democratic presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden rejected the idea of speeding up executions for mass slayings, a measure the Trump administration plans to pursue.

The White House will back legislation drafted by the Justice Department to expedite the death penalty for people convicted of mass murder, Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence told reporters traveling with Pence between Poland and Ireland on Monday.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren rolled her eyes at the idea when asked at an event in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire.

“I don’t support the death penalty,” she said during a gaggle with reporters.

She said she’d support a government buyback of weapons.

“We need to treat this as the public health emergency that it is,” Warren said. “And it’s going to take a lot of pieces and a lot of changes that we need to do to bring down deaths from gun violence.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the leading Democratic candidate to contest Trump’s re-election, said Monday that he didn’t believe the death penalty proposal advocated by Pence would have stopped mass shooters like the one responsible for the El Paso attack.

Pence’s proposal was “what you do when you can’t get something done that’s rational -- you increase the penalty for the irrational,” Biden said during a campaign stop in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

In July, Biden released a criminal justice plan that called for abolishing the death penalty, a policy he advocated for during his decades-long political career.

To contact the reporters on this story: Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire at megkolfopoul@bloomberg.net;Tyler Pager in Cedar Rapids, Iowa at tpager1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at wbenjaminson@bloomberg.net, Jon Morgan

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.