Illinois Governor to signs death penalty ban today! **UPDATED**


“With the stroke of his pen, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn today abolished the state’s broken, dysfunctional and dangerous death penalty system – a system that had seen 20 men exonerated and released over the past several years. Gov. Quinn’s action today comes just over 11 years after Gov. George Ryan first placed a moratorium on executions in Illinois after he became convinced the system was flawed and risked executing innocent people.

The measure signed today, Senate Bill 3539, was adopted by the Illinois General Assembly in December after more than a decade of debate, discussion and analysis of Illinois’ system of capital punishment.

“By repealing the death penalty, Gov. Quinn and the Illinois legislature have taken an historic stand against the systemic injustices that plague the entire death penalty system in Illinois and the rest of the United States,” said John Holdridge, Director of the ACLU Capital Punishment Project. “Executions in this country are carried out as part of an unequal system of justice, in which innocent people are too often sentenced to death and decisions about who lives and who dies are largely dependent upon the skill of their attorneys, the race of their victim, their socioeconomic status and where the crime took place. Such arbitrary and discriminatory administration of the death penalty, which comes at an enormous financial cost to taxpayers, is the very definition of a failed system, and the state of Illinois is to be commended for ending it.”

Read more here.

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to sign legislation abolishing the death penalty in Illinois on Wednesday, according to the House sponsor and sources familiar with the governor’s plans.
The governor today quietly invited death penalty opponents to a private bill signing ceremony at his Capitol office scheduled for late Wednesday morning.

Sponsoring Rep. Karen Yarbrough, D-Maywood, told the Tribune today that the administration invited her to be with the governor on Wednesday for a “private signing” in the governor’s office for the “abolition” of the death penalty. She said an aide to Quinn told her the governor would sign the legislation and then make the announcement public.

Read more here.



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