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Lame Duck Dems To End IL Death Penalty

From an approving Reuters:

Photos of murder victims on display at the Chicago Art Institute.

Illinois poised to abolish death penalty

By Mary Wisniewski

CHICAGO | Tue Jan 11, 2011

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Illinois was poised to become the first state since 2009 to abolish the death penalty after the state Senate on Tuesday approved the ban and sent it to Democratic Governor Pat Quinn for his signature.

The Senate vote came after House approval late last week. The Senate vote was 32-25

As we have previously noted, Democrats, who control the state’s House of Representatives and Senate, have been racing to push through last minute legislation before the legislators who were elected in November arrive in Springfield and a new legislative session begins today at noon.

In the new session, Democrats will continue to control both chambers, but their margins will shrink.

"We’ve had 20 innocent people on Death Row," said Jeremy Schroeder, executive director of the Illinois Coalition Against the Death Penalty. "It’s time to be done with the moratorium and do the right thing."

State Sen. Kwame Raoul [sic], the current measure’s sponsor, said too many mistakes had been made in Illinois.

"We have an historic opportunity… to join the civilized world and end this practice of risking putting to death innocent people," Raoul said before the vote…

Illinois has not executed anyone since 2000. Since then the state Chicago, has often lead the nation in homicides. But that is surely just a coincidence.

Still, we have to ask once again — should lame duck legislatures, who are not responsible to no one, be allowed to ram through legislation like this at the last minute?

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, January 12th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

10 Responses to “Lame Duck Dems To End IL Death Penalty”

  1. Moose Breath says:

    Their community still seems pretty unorganized.

  2. River0 says:

    With the discovery and use of DNA evidence, the chances of an innocent person ending up on death row are about zero. A fair number of innocents have been released in the last ten years as a result of second looks at DNA traces.

    Nobody ever talks about the rights of guards and fellow prisoners to have their lives protected. Condemned killers have nothing to lose and often commit murder in prison.

    This is the debate we should be having regarding the death penalty.

    • dscam says:

      There have been a number of death row inmates released since the advent of DNA evidence; but I would dispute the claim that a fair number of them have been innocent. Winning an appeal based on “newly-discovered” DNA evidence simply means that your lawyer was able to find DNA from the crime scene that did not belong to you or the victim. Since a number of these cases are decades old, it’s difficult for the prosecution to locate the cops, witnesses, and evidence that would be needed to successfully re-convict the felon. I’m sure there have been SOME actual innocent people who found themselves on death row, but I’m willing to bet that they could hold a convention in my walk-in closet.

  3. wardmama4 says:

    Isn’t this the same state that an outgoing Gov commuted all the death sentences? Whatever is in the water in IL – I want no part of ever.

    Oh and they also are raising taxes an unbelievable amount (66%) – I guess anyone who wants to live a decent life and have some of their own hard earned money – won’t be living in IL for long.

  4. Petronius says:

    I have mixed feelings about the death penalty.

    The older I get, the less faith I have in the American system of justice, and the more I believe in luck. I for one would absolutely hate to have my fate decided by a modern, multicultural American jury. And who among us would want to be at the mercy of the supercop of Pima County, Arizona? Or of any left-wing judge? The convictions of Scooter Libby, Tom DeLay, Martha Stewart, Kenneth Lay, and others by rogue prosecutors should give us all pause.

    And make no mistake — there are some innocent people now on death row … innocent at least of the particular crime for which they have been convicted, although perhaps guilty of other crimes. The question is whether the merits of the death penalty outweigh the occasional miscarriage of justice?

    Perhaps the death penalty should be reserved for those cases where evidence of guilt is conclusive, and involving serial killers, mass murderers, or murders involving terrorism, assassination, kidnapping, torture, sexual assault, or home invasion, such as the Cheshire, Conn. case, the Fort Hood Massacre, the Wichita Massacre, the Beltway Sniper, the Knoxville Massacre, or the Manson cult murders.

  5. proreason says:

    No death penalty?

    Of course not. It’s barbaric.

    Except when it’s your loved one who was killed.

    Or when you are a lying weasel like Dukakis.

  6. merkelerk says:

    “We have an historic opportunity… to join the civilized world”

    The more I think about that comment the more I am inclined to declare my little piece of land a sovereign nation.

    Welcome to Merkelerkia

    The “civilized world” is a crazy place of murder, mayhem and continued loss of liberty.

  7. wirenut says:

    What about the death penalties being doled out to innocent citizens by career thugs and scumbags? Day after day after day. “Catch and Release”, should only apply to fishing tournaments. What we have now is the frame of mind (by thugs) is, How far can we push this? Sounds familiar. Overwhelm the system cause they can’t jail us all. Sounds hauntingly familiar! Between career politicians and career thugs, I wonder who created who or which came first?

  8. P. Aaron says:

    So, in Illinois, convicted murderers on death row are considered ‘innocent’? One can only suppose that the murder victims are…what? A burden on the taxpayers?

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