Illinois ends death penalty (w/ related video)
Saying there was no way to fairly implement the ultimate punishment, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation abolishing the death penalty in that state. Quinn specifically cited the fact that many death row inmates have been exonerated after their convictions, including seven who had been set free since the state imposed a moratorium on the death penalty in 2000.
When signing the bill, Quinn said the decision to support it was literally one of life and death, and therefore, not to be taken lightly. “The evidence presented to me by former prosecutors and judges with decades of experience in the criminal justice system has convinced me that it is impossible to devise a system that is consistent, that is free of discrimination on the basis of race, geography or economic circumstance, and that always gets it right,” Quinn said in a statement. “Since 1977, Illinois has seen 20 people exonerated from death row. That is a record that should trouble us all.”
Quinn also said that the money the state spent on enforcing the death penalty would be “better spent on preventing crime and assisting victims’ families in overcoming their pain and grief.” Quinn also said he spoke with the family members of murder victims when considering the repeal. “To those who say that we must maintain a death penalty for the sake of the victims’ families … maintaining a flawed death penalty system will not bring back their loved ones, will not help them to heal and will not bring closure to their pain. Nothing can do that,” he said. Illinois is now one of 15 states that have abolished the death penalty, according to Quinn’s office.
Read Quinn’s entire statement or watch the video below.