Illinois could become 16th no-death-penalty state

A bill to end use of the death penalty landed on the desk of Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (left) on January 11, after a 32-25 Senate vote. Governor Quinn has not yet signed the bill, and Amnesty International is urging citizens of all states to email the Governor to urge him to make Illinois one of the growing number of states which ban the death penalty (New Mexico became the most recent state to abolish the death penalty in 2009.)

Illinois is currently operating under a death-penalty moratorium put in place by former Governor George Ryan, after investigations showed many people had been sent to Death Row who were later found to be innocent. "We've had 20 innocent people on Death Row," said Jeremy Schroeder, executive director of the Illinois Coalition Against the Death Penalty. "It's time to be done with the moratorium and do the right thing.