California U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein says she no longer supports the death penalty, a significant policy shift as she seeks re-election against a Democratic challenger.
Feinstein says it's become clear to her that the death penalty is applied unequally and not an effective deterrent.
Feinstein's support for the death penalty played heavily in her 1990 campaign for governor. She won the Democratic nomination despite being booed by activists at the California Democratic Party's convention for her stance. She ran television ads noting that she was the only Democrat backing the death penalty. She lost the general election.
Her shift comes amid a challenge from Democratic state Sen. Kevin de Leon. His campaign spokesman says the shift indicates Feinstein is trying to appeal to voters who have "outgrown her centrist bent."