Illinois governor signs death penalty ban
March 9th, 2011
01:40 PM ET

Illinois governor signs death penalty ban

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn announced Wednesday that he has signed legislation eliminating the death penalty in his state, more than 10 years after the state halted executions.

"Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history," Quinn (pictured), a Democrat, told reporters in making the announcement.

Illinois conducted its last execution in 1999. Then-Gov. George Ryan halted executions in 2000, after a series of death row inmates were exonerated. Quinn said his review had convinced him that it was impossible to administer capital punishment without mistakes, and abolishing it was "the right and just thing."

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Filed under: Crime • Death Penalty • Illinois • Justice
soundoff (477 Responses)
  1. xavier stone

    i am a professional in my line of work. i believe i should be paid to take care of the people on death row. i am a contracter. or a hit man if you will.

    May 6, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. michelle

    Wow. All these comments about ending lives are really disturbing. There have been innocent people wrongly accused and then later exonerated. There are no guarantees where life leads, and I hope those that are against this ban realize they could someday need mercy too.

    May 13, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Michael

    Child molestation is not punishable by death. In fact the only crimes that are punishable by death are ones in which a life was taken or treason. The US Supreme Court always strikes down other crimes being punishable by death as being cruel and unusual punishment.

    March 9, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. tobyspeeks

    When was the last time a child molester got the death penalty? Not that they don't deserve it, it's just not law anywhere in the US.

    March 9, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. John

    Well, the Supreme Court long since having decided that the death penalty is a grossly disproportionate penalty to any non-homicide crime, child molesters who are not also killers are already immune.

    America may be going to hell in a handbasket, but it's not because we have too FEW executions.

    March 9, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Paul

    So is that what is keeping you from molesting children? The fear of death? You are one sick person.

    March 9, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mary

    Oh, and your preference it to have innocent people killed due to human error? I see. Makes sense.

    March 9, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Nick Normal

    Charlie you so silly!

    March 9, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jim

    The loss of freedom for life is far worse punishment than death. If that was not the case, why would anyone join the US Military to protect freedom?

    March 9, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  10. sean

    Ever stop and think maybe punishment doesn't deter crime when the person's brain doesn't work right? You wanna spend money on stuff that doesn't work, go buy a Toyota. Incarceration is only the first step toward researching and fixing these people socially/neurologically. I'd rather work on that. Glad the governor is worth the money we pay him.

    March 9, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  11. craykclan

    I would rather him put a stop to executions so that innocent people will not DIE!

    March 9, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Old Scout NCO

    Paul said "So is that what is keeping you from molesting children? The fear of death?"

    No, that is what keeps child molesters from molesting more children.


    March 9, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Maybe

    It is funny because there have been many studies that show that the threat of the death penalty does not stop criminals from committing crimes. Seriously, if this threat works as you say it does, then there shouldn't be anybody on death row. Unless of course, your sarcasm goes to your entire statement instead of just the nicely done portion.

    March 9, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  14. John

    Generally, people who commit crimes either try not to get caught or are in such a state that they don't care if they are.
    All a punishment can realistically affect is how HARD a determined person will try not to get caught.

    In any case, life without parole is a pretty damned serious deterrent.

    March 9, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Ian

    @ Charile and @ everyone else who is pro capital punishment.

    1) Supposedly a deterrent, the death penalty does not enter the consideration set of someone who is about to kill or commit some other heinous crime. Most crimes punishable by the death penalty are committed out of extreme emotion wherein logic and any idea of a deterrent is lost. Capital punishment does not deter crime.
    2) Incarcerating a human for the rest of their natural life is exponentially less expensive that the rounds of appeals and other fees associated with capital punishment.

    I salute Governor Quinn on a job well done!

    March 9, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
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