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December 12, 2009

Crime and punishment debated in race for Illinois governor

This local article, which is headlined "IL governor hopefuls weigh in on crime, punishment," details that usual debates and common divides concerning crime and punishment  are in play in Illinois as candidates jockey to take over the state's top spot.  Here are excerpts from the article:

When it comes to punishing people for their crimes, there's little agreement among the candidates for Illinois governor. Some want to resume executions, while others support the state's decade-old moratorium on the death penalty.  Some think it's smart to save money by releasing nonviolent inmates from the state's overcrowded prisons; others see that as a threat to public safety.

The two major Democrats, Gov. Pat Quinn and Comptroller Dan Hynes say they support the death penalty but would maintain the moratorium that Republican Gov. George Ryan began in 2000 over concerns about innocent people being put to death, according to their answers on an Associated Press candidate questionnaire.  "It is not conscionable that an innocent person could be put to death in Illinois," Quinn said.  Neither offered details about what additional safeguards are needed.

Most of the seven Republican candidates favor lifting the moratorium, though some would want more safeguards in place first.  One wants the death penalty abolished....

Candidates for governor also differ on letting nonviolent offenders out of prison early to ease the state's growing budget problems.

Quinn defended his administration's plan to release about 1,000 inmates up to a year early to save about $5 million, saying they would be electronically monitored and weren't in prison for crimes against people.  Whitney backs Quinn's plan and said legalizing marijuana and decriminalizing possession of some other narcotics could help reduce jail overcrowding.

But nearly all the Republicans assailed early release, as did the Democratic Hynes, who called it "another example of a piecemeal budgeting" that doesn't consider the "safety and best interests of Illinois communities."

Brady said it's too risky, Ryan called it "inappropriate," and McKenna doesn't like it either. "I am especially troubled that this decision is driven by budget concerns, not public safety priorities," McKenna said....  "Public safety is one of the top priorities of government and not the place to cut spending," Schillerstrom said.

But Proft said he is open to early release programs as long as there are support services available for those the former inmates.  He also said the state needs to look at ways to deal with nonviolent drug offenders.  Walls said the state should reassign 15,000 nonviolent inmates to community-based programs where they can get counseling and skills training.

December 12, 2009 at 06:22 PM | Permalink

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Comments

They love the criminal in Illinois. The left leaning voters deserve the pain they endure, high crime, high unemployment, high contempt from the rest of the nation. Horrible place about to worsen, as their irresponsible politicians loose vicious criminals on their streets.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Dec 13, 2009 1:35:28 AM

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