The Illinois Senate voted yesterday to abolish the death penalty by a 32-25 vote and now the Bill is awaiting Gov. Pat Quinn(D) signature to become law. In the fall campaign Gov. Quinn had said, he supports "capital punishment when applied carefully and fairly," but also was in favor of the previous Governors' 10-year-old moratorium on executions. The State Journal Register reports:
Ten years after Gov. George Ryan imposed a moratorium on the death penalty in Illinois and nearly eight years after then-state Sen. Barack Obama sponsored reforms to the system, a bill abolishing capital punishment is headed to Gov. Pat Quinn's desk. Quinn’s press office declined to say whether he would sign the bill. Quinn has said previously he favors the death penalty for the worst crimes. //snip The vote was not along party lines. Twenty-eight Democrats and four Republicans voted to abolish the death penalty. Eighteen Republicans and seven Democrats voted to keep it. The measure needed 30 votes to pass. Some of the most passionate debate was between fellow Democrats.The Illinois Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and Equal Justice USA have been relentless and instrumental in the passage of this bill (S.B. 3539)in both the State House and Senate. Much gratitude is deserving of their efforts along the many other organizations who have been advocating to repeal the death penalty in Illinois. The battle however is not won until Governor Pat Quinn signs the bill.
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