Should the Death Penalty Be Allowed?

“This is such a profoundly difficult question and what I have said and what I continue to believe is that the states have proven themselves incapable of carrying out fair trials that give any defendant all the rights that a defendant should have, all the support that the defendant’s lawyer should have. And I’ve said, I would breathe a sigh of relief if either the Supreme Court or the states themselves began to eliminate the death penalty. Where I end up is this, and maybe it’s a distinction that’s hard to support, but, at this point, given the challenges we face from terrorist activities, primarily in our country that end up under federal jurisdiction, for very limited purposes, I think it [the death penalty] can still be held in reserve for those. And the kind of crimes I’m thinking of are the bombing in Oklahoma City, where an American terrorist blew up the government building, killing, as I recall, 158 Americans, including a number of children who were in the preschool program. The plotters and the people who carried out the attacks on 9/11. But a very limited use of it in cases where there has [sic] been horrific mass killings. That’s really the exception that I still am struggling with and would only be in the federal system.” 


Should the United States Abide by Its Treaties with Native American Tribes?

“Hillary Clinton believes the United States has a sacred trust with Native Americans. She is committed to strengthening and building on the government-to-government relationship between the United States and Indian tribes, and believes the United States should fulfill its treaty obligations and trust responsibilities to Tribal Nations. She believes we need to break down all the barriers that hold Native Americans back and build ladders of opportunity for all Native American people. That includes removing obstacles that contribute to addiction, high unemployment and poverty rates on many reservations. At the core of Clinton’s agenda is a simple idea: every child in America should be able to live up to his or her God-given potential.” 


Should the United States Continue the War on Drugs?

“[Lester Holt: D]espite an estimated trillion dollars spent, many say the war on drugs has failed. So what would you do? 

[Hillary] Clinton: Everywhere I go to campaign, I’m meeting families who are affected by the drug problem that mostly is opioids and heroin now, and lives are being lost and children are being orphaned. And I’ve met a lot of grandparents who are now taking care of grandchildren.

So I have tried to come out with a comprehensive approach that, number one, does tell the states that we will work with you from the federal government putting more money, about a billion dollars a year, to help states have a different approach to dealing with this epidemic… 

We have to move away from treating the use of drugs as a crime and instead, move it to where it belongs, as a health issue. And we need to divert more people from the criminal justice system into drug courts, into treatment, and recovery.”


Should Any Federal Taxes Be Increased?

“[A] priority must be reforming our tax code… First, hard-working families need and deserve tax relief and simplification. Second, those at the top have to pay their fair share. That’s why I support the Buffet Rule, which makes sure millionaires do not pay lower rates than their secretaries. I have called for closing the carried interest loophole, that lets wealthy financiers pay an artificially low rate.

And let’s agree that hugely successful companies that benefit from everything that America has to offer, should not be able to game the system and avoid paying their fair share, especially while companies who can’t afford high-priced lawyers and lobbyists end up paying more.”


Should Any Public Colleges or Universities Be Tuition-Free?

“Students should never have to borrow to pay for tuition, books, and fees to attend a four-year public college in their state under the New College Compact. Pell Grants are not included in the calculation of no-debt-tuition, so Pell recipients will be able to use their grants fully for living expenses. Students at community college will receive free tuition.”

[Editor’s Note: On July 6, 2016, Clinton’s campaign updated her position on tuition-free college in an article by Kat Kane titled, “How Much Would Hillary Clinton’s Debt-Free College Plan Save You (Even If You’ve Already Graduated)?,” available at “Under her plan, every student will have the opportunity to graduate from an in-state four-year public college or university without taking on any student debt. Families with incomes up to $125,000 will pay no tuition at in-state public colleges and universities, which covers more than 80 percent of families. The plan will be phased in over five years, but families earning $85,000 or less will immediately be able to attend an in-state college or university without paying any tuition.”]


Should There Be an Independent Palestinian State?

“Yes, I do believe it’s possible [two-state solution] and I believe it’s the only resolution that will work… And we have to look for a way to persuade both sides to do more to demonstrate unequivocally their commitment to a two-state solution. And there are steps that both sides can and should make that I would be promoting… There is no alternative and I will continue to work for that because I believe it is the best outcome for both Israelis and Palestinians in the region.”

Not Clearly Pro or Con 

Should Sanctuary Cities Continue to Receive Federal Funding for Law Enforcement?

“[Brianna] KEILAR: Last week an undocumented immigrant who had been deported five times killed a 32-year-old woman, Kate Steinle, in San Francisco, a sanctuary city where local law enforcement does not enforce federal immigration laws. 

When you last ran for president you supported sanctuary cities. 

In light of this terrible incident, does that change anything about your view on this? 

CLINTON: Well, what should be done is any city should listen to the Department of Homeland Security, which as I understand it, urged them to deport this man again after he got out of prison another time. Here’s a case where we’ve deported, we’ve deported, we’ve deported. He ends back up in our country and I think the city made a mistake. The city made a mistake, not to deport someone that the federal government strongly felt should be deported. 

So I have absolutely no support for a city that ignores the strong evidence that should be acted on. 

However, there are – like if it were a first-time traffic citation, if it were something minor, a misdemeanor, that’s entirely different. This man had already been deported five times. And he should have been deported at the request of the federal government.” 


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