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Death penalty
Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
3:21pm
Fri Mar 18, 2011

Bill Seeks To Resurrect The Death Penalty For Some In Illinois

Illinois Republicans have their sights on undermining the premise of the recently-signed bill banning the death penalty in the state. On March 9, Gov. Pat Quinn signed the bill, after much deliberation, ridding the state of the death penalty under all circumstances. But some Illinois Republicans say the punishment should be an option for those deemed the most heinous of offenders.

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Quick Hit
by dradmin
1:23pm
Thu Mar 10, 2011

Quinn Defends Death Penalty Repeal In Wake Of Criticism

Gov. Pat Quinn is facing a backlash from prosecutors around the state for signing the bill to abolish the state's death penalty. "Today is a victory for murderers across Illinois," the Associated Press quotes DuPage County State's Attorney Bob Berlin as saying. "While prosecutors across the state will continue to seek justice, the reality is that for certain crimes that are so horrific and evil that they shock the conscience of the community, the people of this state will be denied a full measure of justice."

But Quinn is standing his ground. On WGN this morning, the governor was asked about the prosecutors' criticisms. His response noted that "prosecutors in our state have made mistakes," sending 20 people to death row for crimes they did not commit. Take a look:

Abolition supporters, meanwhile, are hailing the decision and Quinn is finding support from the Sun-Times and Tribune editorial boards this morning. "[T]his is a big moment, worthy of significant, if sober, celebration," the Tribune's editorial states. "Recognizing the intractable flaws of a system that sent at least 20 innocent men to death row, Illinois has taken a difficult but courageous step. No government can sanction an instrument of justice that takes such risks with the lives of innocent people."

The issue may not be finished, however. State Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) said on the Big John and Amy show this morning that he plans to file a motion to reinstate the death penalty. Stay tuned ...

PI Original
by Robert Dietz
1:18pm
Wed Mar 9, 2011

Death Penalty Repeal Ends An Ugly Era (VIDEO)

At a signing ceremony today, Gov. Quinn put to rest the flawed death penalty system in Illinois.

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
4:35pm
Wed Mar 2, 2011

Clock Is Ticking For Quinn On Death Penalty

The clock is winding down on Gov. Pat Quinn, who will soon decide what to do about a bill that would ban the death penalty in Illinois. Passed in January, the landmark piece of legislation has sparked correspondence to Quinn from people on both sides of the issue. But, the bulk of the lobbying has been in favor of the ban, with a Quinn spokesman reporting that the governor received letters from 12,000 people in support of the bill, compared with 700 people who wrote in hoping to convince Quinn to veto it.

Yesterday, the Quinn administration released more than 160 pages of that correspondence in response to a Freedom of Information Act request made by the Chicago Sun-Times. Some of the notable proponents of the bill include international politicians, including those from Great Britain and Germany; Bishop Desmond Tutu; best-selling author Scott Turow; New Orleans' Sister Helen Prejean; and Cardinal Francis George. Quinn, who is Catholic, has said he will let his conscience do the deciding on whether or not he should sign the bill, not the church.

Meanwhile, victims' families and prosecutors are asking the governor to veto the bill with the latter arguing that the death penalty allows for more bargaining room with suspects. Prosecutors also say a ban on the death penalty would limit or revoke their access to the Capital Litigation Trust Fund, a pot of state money that helps jurisdictions pay for death penalty trials. Attorney General Lisa Madigan sent a letter to Quinn asking that he veto the bill saying that there should be "a just punishment that fits the despicable nature" of certain crimes.

Quinn has until March 18 to make a final decision on signing the bill. If he signs it, he will also have to decide what to do with the 15 individuals currently sitting on death row in Illinois. 

Quick Hit
by dradmin
4:35pm
Wed Mar 2, 2011

Clock Is Ticking For Quinn On Death Penalty

The clock is winding down on Gov. Pat Quinn, who will soon decide what to do about a bill that would ban the death penalty in Illinois. Passed in January, the landmark piece of legislation has sparked correspondence to Quinn from people on both sides of the issue. But, the bulk of the lobbying has been in favor of the ban, with a Quinn spokesman reporting that the governor received letters from 12,000 people in support of the bill, compared with 700 people who wrote in hoping to convince Quinn to veto it.

Yesterday, the Quinn administration released more than 160 pages of that correspondence in response to a Freedom of Information Act request made by the Chicago Sun-Times. Some of the notable proponents of the bill include international politicians, including those from Great Britain and Germany; Bishop Desmond Tutu; best-selling author Scott Turow; New Orleans' Sister Helen Prejean; and Cardinal Francis George. Quinn, who is Catholic, has said he will let his conscience do the deciding on whether or not he should sign the bill, not the church.

Meanwhile, victims' families and prosecutors are asking the governor to veto the bill with the latter arguing that the death penalty allows for more bargaining room with suspects. Prosecutors also say a ban on the death penalty would limit or revoke their access to the Capital Litigation Trust Fund, a pot of state money that helps jurisdictions pay for death penalty trials. Attorney General Lisa Madigan sent a letter to Quinn asking that he veto the bill saying that there should be "a just punishment that fits the despicable nature" of certain crimes.

Quinn has until March 18 to make a final decision on signing the bill. If he signs it, he will also have to decide what to do with the 15 individuals currently sitting on death row in Illinois.