A bill to abolish the death penalty in Illinois passed out of a House committee on a narrow vote this morning. The measure (SB 3539), which made it through the House Judiciary II - Criminal Law Committee by a vote of 4-3, would redirect money
the state pays in death row prosecution and defense fees to support
law enforcement training and programs for the families of murder
Jeremy Schroeder, the executive director of the Illinois Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, lauded the passage, saying it's about time the death penalty was off the books in the Prairie State. From Schroeder's statement:
Illinois is ready to move past the death penalty, and today's committee vote shows our lawmakers agree. We appreciate the leadership of Rep. Karen Yarbrough and dozens of other legislators who understand we can't fix a system that is broken beyond repair and that we shouldn't keep trying in vain. We look forward to seeing this clear the legislature this week because the time is now to end the death penalty.