Trump: "The death penalty. It should be brought back and it should be brought back strong... They say it's not a deterrent. Well, you know what, maybe it's not a deterrent but these two [men convicted of killing two police officers in Hattiesburg, MS] will not do any more killing. That's for sure."
~~~(Source: The Right Scoop, "Donald Trump: Death Penalty Needs to Be Brought Back Strong for Cop Killing Thugs in Mississippi," therightscoop.com, May 11, 2015)
Clinton: Clinton, when asked if she supported capital punishment, answered in the affirmative. "I do, for very limited, particularly heinous crimes believe [the death penalty] is an appropriate punishment," she told moderators Rachel Maddow and Chuck Todd, pointing to terrorism in particular and citing Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh's sentence as "appropriate."
~~~(US News, “Views You Can Use: Death Penalty Divide” Feb. 5, 2016)
Sanders: “When we talk about criminal justice reform, I believe it is time for the United States of America to join almost every other Western, industrialized country on Earth in saying no to the death penalty,” Sanders said during his speech on the Senate floor. “We are all shocked and disgusted by some of the horrific murders that we see in this country, seemingly every week. And that is precisely why we should abolish the death penalty. At a time of rampant violence and murder, the state should not be part of that process.”
~~~(Huffington Post, “Bernie Sanders Speaks Out Against The Death Penalty After Hillary Clinton Stands By It” October 29, 2015)
Johnson: [Scott Holleran:] You [Johnson] oppose the death penalty. Why?
[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.
~~~(August 21, 2011, Interview with Gary Johnson by Scott Holleran)
Trump: "[Trump:] I am pro-life.
[Chris Matthews:] How do you ban abortion? How do you actually do it?
[Trump:] Well, You go back to a position like they had where people will perhaps go to illegal places but you have to ban it...
[Matthews:] Do you believe in punishment for abortion, yes or no, as a principle?
[Trump:] The answer is that there has to be some form of punishment.
[Matthews:] For the woman?
[Trump:] Yeah. There has to be some form."
~~~( Maggie Haberman, "Pressed on Abortion Ban, Donald Trump Sees a Penalty for Women," nytimes.com, Mar. 30, 2016)
Editor's Note: Shortly after the above Mar. 30, 2016 quote was released to the media, Trump's campaign released a statement: "If Congress were to pass legislation making abortion illegal and the federal courts upheld this legislation, or any state were permitted to ban abortion under state and federal law, the doctor or any other person performing this illegal act upon a woman would be held legally responsible, not the woman. The woman is a victim in this case as is the life in her womb. My position has not changed — like Ronald Reagan, I am pro-life with exceptions."
Clinton: “Politicians have no business interfering with women's personal health decisions. I will oppose efforts to roll back women's access to reproductive health care, including Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. As president, I'll stand up for Planned Parenthood and women’s access to critical health services, including safe, legal abortion.”
~~~(Hillary Clinton’s Twitter (@HillaryClinton), Jan. 6, 2016)
Sanders: “Bernie believes in protecting a woman’s right to choose and has a lifetime pro-choice record. In 1993, he co-sponsored the Freedom of Choice Act, which aimed to bar states from restricting the right to terminate a pregnancy before fetal viability or at any time when a termination is necessary to protect the health of a woman.
In an op-ed for the Huffington Post published in April 2012, Bernie wrote “We are not returning to the days of back-room abortions, when countless women died or were maimed. The decision about abortion must remain a decision for the woman, her family and physician to make, not the government.”
Johnson: "I support women's rights to choose up until viability of the fetus. I've supported the notion of parental notification. I've supported counseling and I've supported the notion that public funds not be used for abortions. But I don't want for a second to pretend that I have a better idea of how a woman should choose when it comes to this situation. Fundamentally this is a choice that a woman should have."
~~~(Rolling Stone, “Meet Gary Johnson, the GOP's Invisible Candidate,” June 15, 2011)
Trump: Donald Trump has no stance on physician-assisted suicide as of November 2015.
Clinton: “I believe it's within the province of the states to make that decision. I commend Oregon on this count, as well, because whether I agree with it or not or think it's a good idea or not, the fact that Oregon is breaking new ground and providing valuable information as to what does and doesn't work when it comes to end-of-life questions, I think, is very beneficial...
I have a great deal of sympathy for people who are in difficult end-of-life situations. I've gone to friends who have been in great pain and suffering at the end of their lives. I've never been personally confronted with it but I know it's a terribly difficult decision that should never be forced upon anyone. So with appropriate safeguards and informed decision-making, I think it's an appropriate right to have." ~~~(Interview with the Register Guard newspaper, as quoted by talkleft.com, "Hillary and Obama on Assisted Suicide and Medical Marijuana," Apr. 6, 2008)
Sanders: "I am proud of how Vermont is a leader, frankly, in a number of areas, including end-of-life care. You know, this is, uh, a very emotional issue, obviously, and we have got to be extremely careful about how those decisions are made. And I know the concerns of people who oppose this...
But you know, I think if a human being is in a situation where they are going to see their life end in a short period of time, where they are suffering, where they choose no longer to be alive. I think they have the right to make that decision for themselves."
~~~(ijreview.com, Kelsey Rupp, "Bernie Sanders Differentiates Himself in a Big Way from Hillary When It Comes to Assisted Suicide,", Feb. 18, 2016)
Johnson: "While individual religious and moral views vary, both Ayn Rand and Mises recognized suicide as one of the most basic rights that not even a totalitarian state could take away from the individual. They are correct, and government efforts to impede that right are doomed to fail."
~~~(Email to ProCon.org from Gary Johnson's Communications Director, Joe Hunter, on July 9, 2012)
Politicians are human, too, and are subject to change their views on topics. If you are of voting age, be sure to keep updated on what the candidates think about topics that matter to you (organizations like Susan B. Anthony are great tools to do so for our US readers). Stay informed, use your voice, and happy belated 240th birthday, America!