Illinois Legislature Passes Bill Abolishing the Death Penalty


The state senate of Illinois today passed a bill that bans capital punishment. The bill was previously passed by the Illinois House and now will go to Democratic governor Pat Quinn. If the governor signs the bill, Illinois will join New Jersey and New Mexico among the most recent states to abolish the death penalty.

In 2000, after thirteen people on death row in Illinois were exonerated, then-Governor George Ryan imposed a moratorium on executions. Support for abolishing capital punishment in Illinois has grown in the decade since Ryan declared the moratorium, according to The Chicago Tribune.

Illinois is poised to become the third state since 2007 to outlaw the death penalty. Nationwide, states have dramatically slowed their rates of death sentencing and executions in recent years as evidence about unreliable imposition of the death penalty has grown.