Wendy Davis' GOP Rival Says She 'Lacks Courage Of Conviction' For Past Stance On Death Penalty

Republican Greg Abbott, who's running to replace Rick Perry as Texas governor, criticized his Democratic opponent Wendy Davis for her stance on the death penalty, saying she "lacks courage of conviction" for her past support of a moratorium on the practice.

The AP reported Monday on Davis' stance on the death penalty in 2000, when she served as a Fort Worth city councilwoman:

Davis voted in July 2000 for a resolution calling for a moratorium in order to study the death penalty and possible changes, The Houston Chronicle reported. The vote on the resolution failed, 5-4, and Davis, now a Democratic state senator from Fort Worth, has said she supports capital punishment.

Her campaign said the issues that motivated her vote then have been resolved, and reaffirmed that she would allow executions to be carried out as governor.

Abbott's campaign released a statement chastising Davis for her past opposition to the death penalty, calling her "out-of-touch with Texans."

"Her past opposition to the death penalty shows she lacks courage of conviction, and instead opts for answers that are politically expedient," the statement from Abbott's communications director Matt Hirsch said. "Texans deserve a governor they can count on to enforce the rule of law, not one who equivocates on bringing criminals to justice."

Abbott's campaign previously called Davis' views on the death penalty "flip-flopping and political posturing."

Many Texans support the death penalty, and a May HuffPost/YouGov poll found 65 percent of Americans -- including 82 percent of Republicans, 66 percent of independents and 53 percent of Democrats -- said they support the death penalty for people convicted of murder.

UPDATE -- 12:13 p.m.: Davis' Communications Director Zac Petkanas gave the following statement to HuffPost:

This attack by Greg Abbott is nothing more than an attempt to distract from his record siding with a corporation against a victim of rape while on the Texas Supreme Court. Senator Davis supports the death penalty and as governor will enforce it. In fact, she voted to expand the death penalty to those who murder children under the age of 10. This non-binding resolution from fourteen years ago called for a temporary moratorium while steps were taken to ensure it’s being administered fairly and accurately. Those steps were taken and Senator Davis remains a proponent of the death penalty as ultimate punishment.

The headline of this post has been updated.



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