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Dr. Oz Twists Fetterman's View On Ending Life Sentences

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, has advocated ending mandatory life sentences for what is known as felony murder. He has not called for eliminating life sentences for all murders, despite a claim in a TV ad by physician and former TV talk show host Mehmet Oz, the Republican Senate nominee, PolitiFact reports. "Failed liberal policies are making us less safe," the narrator says in the ad, which was funded by the National Republican Senatorial Committee and approved by Oz. "Yet John Fetterman wants to release one-third of prisoners and eliminate life sentences for murderers." PolitiFact rated Oz’s claim about releasing one-third of prisoners "Mostly False." Fetterman did highlight a comment by Pennsylvania’s former corrections secretary that the state’s prison population could be reduced by one-third without a risk to public safety.


Oz’s new claim about Fetterman wanting to "eliminate" life sentences for murders is similarly distorted.

The Nov. 8 matchup between Oz and Fetterman is rated by campaign watchers as either "tilts Republican" or a toss-up. The outcome could decide which party controls the Senate, which is split 50-50. In making the claim about life sentences, the Oz ad refers to a June 1, 2021, article in the Pennsylvania Capital-Star, which describes itself as a news source on state government that also offers progressive commentary. The article notes Fetterman’s position in favor of eliminating life sentences for second-degree murder and quotes him at a town hall with reform advocates saying: "These folks are not Hannibal Lecter. These are individuals that may have been involved in a bad decision, terrible mistake, or something that they had no idea was going to occur."