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Dr. Oz Demands Fetterman Fire ‘Convicted Murderers’ Who Were Granted Clemency

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Pennsylvania GOP Senate nominee Dr. Mehmet Oz’s struggling campaign upped its attacks on opponent John Fetterman’s record on crime on Thursday, calling on the Democrat to “fire” the “convicted murderers he employs on his campaign.” The two men they pointed to, however, had their life sentences for second-degree murder commuted last year after decades of advocacy over the belief they were “wrongfully convicted” and “innocent.” Last year, after Dennis and Lee Horton’s sentences were commuted, Fetterman called supporting their clemency the “highest honor” while saying these “good men will not die in prison for a crime they didn’t commit.” Prior to their release, the Hortons’ case became a cause célèbre for criminal-justice reform advocates, especially as Pennsylvania gives automatic life sentences on second-degree murder convictions. Oz and his campaign weren’t alone in politically targeting the Hortons—the Republicans’ national Senate committee bashed Fetterman for “being soft on crime” while demanding he fire the two campaign staffers. (On the other hand, before pushing Oz’s demand that the Hortons be banned from Fetterman’s campaign, senior communications adviser Rachel Tripp said “conservatives need to be involved in criminal justice reform” to fight “systemic inequality.”) The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s editorial board, meanwhile, recently knocked Oz for “distorting Fetterman’s record” on crime and resorting to “fear-mongering.”