BREAKING: Illinois Abolishes Death Penalty

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (D) took the historic and humane step and abolished the state’s death penalty.  While Quinn is on record as personally supporting the death penalty when properly implemented, after months of consultation he decided to sign the measure sponsored by state Rep. Karen Yarbrough and  state Sen. Kwame Raoul.

The repeal will take effect July 1.  Prosecutors would still be able to seek the death penalty and juries could still impose it until the law took effect.

Illinois last execution was in 1999, a year before then-Republican Gov. George Ryan imposed a moratorium on capital punishment after the death sentences of 13 men were overturned.  Before leaving office in 2003 Ryan commuted the death sentences of the remaining 167 inmates to life in prison.

This adds Illinois to the 15 other states and the District of Columbia to abolish the death penalty.

Thanks for this success in no small part to our own Care2 community, where over 9,000 Care2 members signed the petition!

Photo credit: Steakpinball on Flickr

Love This? Never Miss Another Story.


Kathy Parsons
Kathy Parsons4 years ago

Whether Pat Quinn bowed to moral or financial pressure (it costs more to execute someone than give them a life sentence) he's done the right thing by abolishing the death penalty.

monica r.
monica r.4 years ago

@Verna B


And do you feel your revenge fantasy justifies leaving other families to NEVER get justice for their loved one?

monica r.
monica r.4 years ago

@Verna B
"tell me you would feel the same if it was your innocent husband, wife, mother, sister, child who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. and was murdered, would you still feel the same way?"

And you tell me Verna, how would you feel "if it was your innocent husband, wife, mother, sister, child who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. and was murdered" BUT the person who did it never got caught.

How would you feel Verna, wondering who did it, knowing they are still out there, wondering forever what really happened in your loved one's last moments, wondering if there are more victims. How many nights would you want to lie awake thinking these thoughts, Verna? How many months? How many years?

The reason I ask is because capital punishment costs a lot more than life with no parole, and I think we are all aware right now, that money has to come from somewhere. So where DOES it come from? It comes from the money that could otherwise put more cops on the street. It comes for money that could pay salaries and overtime for detectives to solve cold cases.

So while you're off on your little revenge trip of killing a murderer, I wonder Verna, will you sleep more soundly knowing that hundreds of murderers JUST AS GUILTY are free? Do you feel safer knowing they haven't even been found or questioned? Do you rest easy knowing there are fewer cops patrolling?

And do you feel your revenge fantasy justifies leaving other families to NEVER get justice for their l

monica r.
monica r.4 years ago

@Fran B
"so your taxes can feed them, teach them,.train them educate them, give them play time, jail today is a club house, its sorry to say"

"jail today is a clubhouse" where inmates kill or beat each other, where butt-rape by other inmates is common, where at any time your cell can be searched, where you are not allowed to go anywhere any time you want, you rarely get to see family or talk to them, all your phone calls and lettters are subject to being listened to/read, and where if you try to leave you will get shot. Often you sit in group cells with people you hate, the food is crappy, and there's no bathroom privacy to speak of.

Gosh Fran, you leave me wondering what kinds of club you belong to, if that is what your clubhouse is like!

@john h
"this happens in murder , rapist's and child molesting . i dont want these people to be breathing"

Oh, so YOU get to decide? For one thing, not all murders are necessarily capital murder, and definitely rape and pedophilia are not capital crimes. So they were going to be breathing anyway.

Aruna B.
Aruna Baker4 years ago

Anne was completely innocent and incapable of harming anyone. She was hateful and barbarically set up for a gruesome murder. We met regularly while on death row. She began to write poetry.

Today she feels very close. I was married to her by a Cherokee holy woman in a tipi in the desert just hours before her execution, which occurred if I remember correctly at 5am. As at Auschwitz poison gas was used.

We were in love but of course we never made love. I find that confusing just now.

An 8 year old girl always came with me. "When can we see Anne again".

It 5.08am just now.

Should I get a wedding ring for Anne, my wife, or would that affirm the status quo that killed her?

I don't understand why the Governor of Illinois has authority in this matter. The reason she died ---- she is female. He is too late...but I applaud the decision nonethe less.

She is with me now, and will never die.

Hannah Gaden Gilmartin

This news makes me happy. I am strongly against the death penalty and hope that someday, it will no longer exist anywhere.

john hall
john hall4 years ago

Stella P. and all you fools who believe this is a good thing it's not. people who go out and cold blooded kills another , rapist , child molesters who victimize woman and kids . your all sick for wanting these people kept alive theres no help for them and please dont throw the christian thing out god will turn his back on the non believers and they will go to hell .

Stella P.
Jeremy Schanche4 years ago

This makes me very happy! The USA moves one step closer to civilization.

Ald Oro
Ald Oro4 years ago

If a criminal is chronically a felon with multiple rapes murders break ins ....

Ginny Pendas
Ginny Pendas4 years ago

glad to hear this one