Just about the fence straddling I'd expect from a centrist Democrat running for President.
According to Pew Research, only 40 percent of Democrats support executions, as opposed to 56 percent of all citizens. Sanders and O'Malley come down against it, but they are scrabbling for the support of the left-most fraction of the party. Somewhat inconsistently, according to the poll, most of us -- even those who don't support death sentences -- think executions can be morally justified sometimes. But accumulated doubts about how the penalty is applied undermine its legitimacy.
More interesting than Hillary's effort to split the difference are the strains the death penalty is revealing among U.S. evangelicals. Robert P. Jones reports:
Yes, that too is an attempt to straddle a moral divide.
This chart shows the divisions about the ultimate penalty within U.S. religious communities.
And -- just as the rest of the U.S. population is becoming less uniformly white, so is the evangelical population.
Evangelicals aren't so different from the rest of the U.S population: we all, of all races, have to get used to the browning of our country and society. In the words of the James Russell Lowell poem against slavery adopted by many Protestants as a hymn: