Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania invoked a classic film in an interview published Tuesday to defend giving murderers clemency as he faces attacks over his record on crime..
“It’s really a very simple choice. I believe the perfect metaphor is ‘The Shawshank Redemption,’” Fetterman, who is running for the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, told Semafor’s Dave Weigel in an interview. “That’s a touchstone that virtually everybody has seen, everybody understands. I’ve asked people, ‘Would you want Morgan Freeman to die in prison or not?’ And I’ve never met anybody that says, ‘Yeah, he should die in prison. I would have voted to have him die in prison.’” (RELATED: Dem PA Senate Candidate John Fetterman Calls For ‘Prosecuting’ Oil, Grocery CEOs)
One of my questions for @JohnFetterman: When does someone convicted of first degree murder deserve clemency?
Introducing: The Morgan Freeman Test. https://t.co/dhUKCdy6ZN pic.twitter.com/WWJRfJd5lv
— David Weigel (@daveweigel) October 18, 2022
As head of Pennsylvania’s board of pardons, Fetterman recommended freeing convicted murderers on multiple occasions. Fetterman also appeared to endorse reducing the state’s prison population by one-third in 2020 in two posts on Twitter.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, the Republican nominee vying for Toomey’s seat, has criticized Fetterman’s record on crime during the campaign, including calling for Fetterman to fire two people whose sentences were commuted from his campaign.
“I understood, at the beginning of becoming the board of pardons chair, that this was going to be weaponized. You’re talking less than one percent of individuals that are condemned to die in prison,” Fetterman said. “And they come in front of five people, the same as in ‘Shawshank.’ They’re usually elderly. They’re most likely be black. And they are deeply remorseful for what they were involved in, or what they did directly; and they’ve done 40 years or more, maybe sometimes more than 50 years.”
A Daily Wire/Trafalgar poll conducted Oct. 8-11 showed Fetterman with a roughly 2% lead over Oz. An Emerson College/Hill poll also showed Fetterman with a 2% lead, with 39% of Pennsylvania voters considering the economy the top issue.
Washington Free Beacon reporter Chuck Ross noted that the source material for the movie, Stephen King’s novella “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption,” provided details about why ‘Red’ was in prison.
Fetterman keeps using this line, but maybe he doesn’t know what Red was serving time for.
In the Stephen King book, Red cut the brake line on his wife’s car for insurance money. She had a neighbor & her infant daughter in the car when they crashed & died https://t.co/Iu9qgS9Yv6
— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) October 18, 2022
“In the Stephen King book, Red cut the brake line on his wife’s car for insurance money,” Ross posted on Twitter.
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