The Republican National Committee (RNC) released a new advertisement criticizing Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine for commuting the sentence of a murderer on death row.
The opening of the video features Kaine explaining that to truly understand what someone in public life is like, people must look at their full history; an apparent ploy by the RNC to use Kaine’s own words against himself.
The campaign commercial showcases how Kaine served as the defense counsel to several people convicted of murder.
Two of the criminals he represented were eventually executed.
Another defendant, Jens Söring, a German citizen, remains in the U.S. serving a life prison sentence after Kaine, then-governor of Virginia, tried to have him sent back to Germany. It was possible Söring could have been granted parole if the legal proceedings occurred in Germany, but current Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe blocked the repatriation in 2015, according to the video.
The RNC also condemns Kaine for commuting the sentence of Percy Walton, who was scheduled to be executed after he was charged with murdering three people in 1996. As governor, Kaine stopped the capital punishment procedure because, “one cannot reasonably conclude that Walton is fully aware of the punishment he is about to suffer and why he is to suffer it,” according to The Washington Post.
Walton was believed to be mentally ill after he was observed banging on walls and talking to himself, The Intercept reports. Walton also scored a 66 on an IQ test and believed he was Jesus. Many consider a score below 70 a sign of “definite feeble-mindedness.”
Kaine shortened Walton’s sentence to life without parole.
After Kaine’s speech in the advertisement, the narrator says, “Long before Tim Kaine was in office, he consistently protected the worst kinds of people.”
“Tim Kaine … he has a passion for defending the wrong people … America deserves better,” the voice asserts at the very end of the video.
Kaine presided over 11 executions as governor of Virginia.
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