With the death penalty, we're moving in the right direction. What do you think?News today from Springfield, Ill., where Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation that ends capital punishment in the Land of Lincoln. The governor also commuted 15 existing death sentences to life without parole. The move came roughly eight years after then-Governor Pat Ryan (now in prison himself) emptied the state's death row after declaring the state's death penalty scheme was "haunted by the demon of error."
Illinois thus becomes the fourth state in four years to purge its death penalty laws. New Jersey, New Mexico, and New York (via court order) also have dropped from their books capital punishment as a sentencing option. According to Richard Dieter, who tracks these things for the Death Penalty Information Center, Illinois is the 16th state to repeal its death penalty protocols -- and more may be on the way.
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