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."