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Kilgore, Kaine Exchange Barbs on Capital Punishment

Republican Jerry W. Kilgore, right, and Democrat Timothy M. Kaine, left, await the start of Sunday's final debate in Richmond. University of Virginia professor Larry J. Sabato, center, served as moderator.
Republican Jerry W. Kilgore, right, and Democrat Timothy M. Kaine, left, await the start of Sunday's final debate in Richmond. University of Virginia professor Larry J. Sabato, center, served as moderator. (By Steve Helber -- Associated Press)

The campaign released a transcript of Kaine's comment regarding Hitler, from an interview with the Richmond Times-Dispatch last month. He said of people like Hitler: "They may deserve it, of course they may for doing something heinous, they don't deserve to live in civilized society, they may deserve the death penalty."

In a conference call with reporters, Kilgore sought to reinforce the messages in his ads.

"Records mean far more than rhetoric," Kilgore said. "If Tim Kaine had been successful in his efforts, Mark Sheppard would not have been put to death.

"Everyone is entitled to representation, but not every activist defense attorney is entitled to be governor of Virginia," he said.

Kaine's press secretary, Delacey Skinner, said Kilgore was "not only calling Tim a liar, he's attacking his faith. He's attacking his ability to uphold his oath because of his Catholicism."

She said that although Kaine indeed served as counsel for Sheppard, he was not the lead attorney.

Skinner cited a Washington Post poll, taken Sept. 6 to 9, in which 63 percent of registered voters said they believed Kaine would uphold Virginia law.

"Tim is not going to try to call for a moratorium," she said. "He is going to enforce the death penalty, just like any other governor has."


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