Bush: Conflicted on the death penalty, must be reformed

AP News
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Posted: Nov 01, 2015 9:41 AM
Bush: Conflicted on the death penalty, must be reformed

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said Sunday that he's conflicted about the death penalty "as a human being" and because executions take too long to carry out.

"It's hard for me, as a human being, to sign the death warrant, to be honest with you," Bush said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

The conflict is spiritual —Bush is Catholic_and practical, he added.

"I'm informed by my faith in many things, and this is one of them," said Bush, who was governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007. He said capital punishment clogs the courts and costs taxpayers money, as well as delaying "closure" for the victims' families.

"If it's to be used as a deterrent, it has to be reformed," Bush said. "It can't take 25 years. That does no one any good. Neither the victims nor the state is solving this problem with that kind of tangled judicial process."

Bush said he nonetheless remains a supporter of capital punishment. Florida executed 21 prisoners while Bush was governor.