From The Chicago Tribune:
Gov. Pat Quinn today signed into law a historic ban on the death penalty in Illinois and commuted the sentences of 15 death row inmates to life without parole.
Quinn signed the legislation in his Capitol office surrounded by longtime opponents of capital punishment in a state where flaws in the process led to the exoneration of numerous people sentenced to death.
“For me, this was a difficult decision, quite literally the choice between life and death,” Quinn wrote in his signing statement. “This was not a decision to be made lightly, or a decision that I came to without deep personal reflection.”
“Since our experience has shown that there is no way to design a perfect death penalty system, free from the numerous flaws that can lead to wrongful convictions or discriminatory treatment, I have concluded that the proper course of action is to abolish it,” Quinn wrote. “With our broken system, we cannot ensure justice is achieved in every case.”
“For the same reason, I have also decided to commute the sentences of those currently on death row to natural life imprisonment, without the possibility of parole or release,” the governor wrote.
This literally makes me want to cry. Good for you, Illinois, and for Gov. Quinn for doing the right thing.
One can only hope this will create a domino effect, though I fear Texas would be the last domino to fall.
Related posts that make clear my position on the death penalty simply by their titles:
- Why the Death Penalty Needs to Go
- Why the Death Penalty Needs to End
- The Death Penalty Needs to End NOW