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Pence calls for expedited death penalty for perpetrators of mass shootings

SIMI VALLEY, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 27: Republican presidential candidate former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence participates in the FOX Business Republican Primary Debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on September 27, 2023 in Simi Valley, California. Seven presidential hopefuls squared off in the second Republican primary debate as former U.S. President Donald Trump, currently facing indictments in four locations, declined again to participate. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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(The Hill) — Former Vice President Mike Pence during Wednesday night’s second GOP debate called for an expedited federal death penalty as punishment for the perpetrators of mass shootings. 

“I’m someone that believes that justice delayed is justice denied. … As a grandfather of three beautiful little girls, I’m sick and tired of the mass shootings happening in the United States of America,” Pence said from his podium on the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library stage in Simi Valley, Calif. 

“And if I’m president of the United States, I’m going to go to the Congress of the United States, and we’re going to pass a federal expedited death penalty for anyone involved in a mass shooting, so they will meet their fate in months, not years,” Pence said.  

The former vice president said it’s “unconscionable” that the perpetrator of the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman-Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., was sentenced to life in prison. 

“That’s not justice. We have to mete out justice and send a message to the would-be killers that you are not going to live out your days behind bars,” Pence said.  

Pence has made the push for an expedited death penalty before. He’s also argued the U.S. should place more focus on institutionalizing the mentally ill as a means of addressing gun violence.

The former vice president was on stage alongside six other qualified White House hopefuls. The party’s front-runner and Pence’s ex-running mate, former President Trump, once again declined to participate.

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