Illinois Says Bye-Bye to the Death Penalty
Matt | On 09, Mar 2011
Today, Illinois joined a small group of states that have completely outlawed the death penalty within their borders.
Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill into law on Wednesday that made capital punishment a thing of the past. The state joins New York, New Jersey, and New Mexico in that distinction. Gov. Quinn also commuted the sentences of all 15 of the state’s Death Row inmates. The law that Gov. Quinn signed will go into effect on July 1.
Illinois has had major problems with the death penalty before that built up to today’s historic bill signing. During his term, former Gov. George Ryan learned from some good journalism at the Chicago Tribune and Northwestern University that several people had erroneously landed on Death Row. Faulty convictions, bad witnesses, etc. were some of the causes. So, he stopped all executions in 2000. Two days before he left office in 2003, he commuted the death sentences of 164 inmates to life in prison.
Word to the wise, though. Don’t think that the death penalty is out everywhere. You can still get your ass fried in 34 states AND as a federal inmate. This is NOT the time to consider a career in crime just because you’ll live through your potential punishment. Don’t be stupid.