Monday, January 10, 2011

Illinois Lawmakers Consider Outlawing the Death Penalty

Illinois lawmakers could consider abolishing the death penalty this week. The term of the General Assembly ends next week, and lawmakers have a host of controversial legislation on the table in the session's final days.

Critics of the push to abolish the death penalty argue the effort is being rushed.

However, Senator Kwame Raoul, a Chicago Democrat, said death penalty opponents have to act when they have the support. He told the Daily Herald, “I think when you have momentum, you need to seize that momentum,” Raoul said.

Raoul added that many murder victims’ families support ending the death penalty in an effort to eliminate mistakes.

No one has been executed in Illinois since 2002 when former Gov. George Ryan cleared death row at least in part because of a wrongful prosecutions. However, Ryan was embroiled in a corruption scandal that resulted his conviction and prison term.

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