Legislation would end death penalty in Illinois

Legislation would end death penalty in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois’ death penalty would be abolished under a bill that cleared a House committee Tuesday on a 4-3 party-line vote.

The bill still needs approval from the full House and the Senate before it would go to Gov. Pat Quinn for his OK.

The legislation (SB 3539) is sponsored by Rep. Karen Yarbrough, D-Maywood, who said the death penalty is applied unequally and has no deterrent effect.

The Illinois State Bar Association and the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois both appeared at the hearing in support of the legislation.

But a number of prosecutors urged retaining the death penalty, and said the issue deserved more debate than could be provided during the Legislature’s six-day fall veto session.

Then-Gov. George Ryan imposed a moratorium on executions in Illinois in January 2000. It remains in effect.


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ROB McCOLLEY wrote on November 30, 2010 at 6:11 pm
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Equal application & deterrent value are irrelevant.

The only questions should be whether the accused is guilty, and whether we want to insure that the guilty aren't given a chance to repeat their crimes.

Incapacitation is the only reason to punish people -- not retribution, not deterrence, and not rehabilitation. As it stands, Illinois puts violent offenders back on the streets like the Willie Horton turnstile.

Just look at the stories right here at N-G.com "Well known to the police" say the cops and the state's attorney about suspects in the local plague of aggravated batteries and burglaries.

John O'Connor wrote on December 01, 2010 at 10:12 pm

Jesus, Rob. Unequal application and the lack of deterrence are very much the issue. How many who have been convicted have been subsequently exonerated? What about the people we actually killed? The state of Texas kills the most people but still has the highest (non state) murder rate. Not such a deterrence, huh?

Local plague? Not so much.