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January 13, 2011

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn not yet telling (and perhaps not yet sure?) whether he will sign death penalty repeal

As detailed in this Chicago Tribune article, which is headlined "Quinn refuses to be pinned down on death penalty repeal," the governor of Illinois is being coy about whether he will sign or veto the death penalty repeal bill passed by his state's legislature. Here are the details:

Gov. Pat Quinn said Wednesday that he would "follow my conscience" in deciding whether to sign a bill abolishing the death penalty that has been approved by the General Assembly. With the matter solely in his hands after historic votes by the state House and Senate, Quinn declined to give a firm answer on the direction he plans to take.

But the governor did point to the state's history of "serious problems" with the death penalty, which he said could have resulted in "terrible tragedies" if inmates wrongfully condemned to die had not been exonerated.

Quinn also said the opinions of legislators are "very serious indeed. These are men and women who went before the voters and got elected in their districts, and they voted their conscience."

In Chicago, Mayor Richard Daley made his position clear, saying certain crimes "should be handled" by the death penalty. "I have met parents, that their child has died, and this person has been out of prison," Daley said on Wednesday. "I mean, how do they live with that?"...

As Quinn pondered, a capital murder case in DuPage County moved forward, while the judge on a potential death penalty case in Lake County agreed to a delay at the defense attorney's request....

The Illinois Senate agreed to abolish the death penalty on Tuesday, five days after the House approved the measure. If the bill is signed by Quinn, Illinois would become the 16th state to end executions. The legislation follows years of controversy over the state's history of flawed prosecutions in capital cases.

A moratorium on the death penalty in Illinois, which reinstated capital punishment in 1977, has been in place since 2000. Even if Quinn signs the bill, the fate of 15 death row inmates remains unclear, according to the state Department of Corrections.

January 13, 2011 at 10:41 AM | Permalink

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17 is my lucky number

Posted by: claudio giusti, italia | Jan 13, 2011 11:15:43 AM

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