Clinton has been a longtime advocate of the death penalty. Clinton cosponsored the Innocence Protection Act of 2003 which became law in 2004 as part of the Justice for All Act. The bill provides funding for post-conviction DNA testing and establishes a DNA testing process for individuals sentenced to the death penalty under federal law. As first lady, she lobbied for President Clinton's crime bill, which expanded the list of crimes subject to the federal death penalty.
McCain supports the death penalty for federal crimes. As a U.S. senator from Arizona, he has voted to prohibit the use of racial statistics in death penalty appeals and to ban the death penalty for minors. He has also supported legislation to allow the death penalty for acts of terrorism and has said he would consider further expansion of capital punishment laws for other crimes.
Obama says the death penalty "does little to deter crime" but he supports it for cases in which "the community is justified in expressing the full measure of its outrage." While a state senator, Obama pushed for reform of the Illinois capital punishment system and authored a bill to mandate the videotaping of interrogations and confessions.
Paul opposes the death penalty and would vote against it in "any legislative body he was a member of," according to campaign spokesman Jesse Benton. In 2005, Paul praised the late Pope John Paul II for being an "eloquent and consistent advocate for an ethic of life, exemplified by his struggles against abortion, war, euthanasia and the death penalty."