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.