Jeb Bush: Death Penalty ‘Is Not a Deterrent Anymore’

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush explained his current ambivalence toward the death penalty on Sunday, saying he believed it was no longer a deterrent to crime.

“I’m conflicted. I am,” Bush said in response to a question by Meet the Press host Chuck Todd: “Have you changed your mind on the death penalty?”

“It was the law of the land when I was governor and I faithfully dealt with it,” Bush replied. “To be honest with you, it is not a deterrent anymore because it’s seldom used. It clogs up the courts. It costs a ton of money.”

Florida executed 21 people during the eight years when Jeb Bush was governor.

Todd followed up, asking him: “Are you one of those that look at the fiscal part of it and say, ‘You know what? Maybe it makes more fiscal sense to not do it’?”

“Here’s the one thing, and it’s hard for me, as a human being, to sign the death warrant, to be honest with you,” Bush responded.