Constitutional Law

Death Penalty Is Banned in Illinois

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With Gov. Pat Quinn’s signature today, a bill banning the death penalty in Illinois is now official. The legislation will take effect July 1, Reuters reports.

He also commuted the sentences of all 15 inmates on death row to life imprisonment without the possibility of release, calling the decision the hardest one he has had to make in his time as governor, reports the Associated Press.

Three other states, New Jersey, New Mexico and New York, have already banned capital punishment, and it is rarely enforced in Western democracies.

“In Illinois, there is no question in my mind that abolishing the death penalty is the right thing,” defense attorney Ron Safer tells Reuters. “It is naive to think that we haven’t executed an innocent person. We stop looking after they’re executed.”

Also see:

Illinois Government News Network: “Statement from Governor Pat Quinn on Senate Bill 3539”

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