Pat Quinn, the current governor of the state of Illinois, now has the singular honor to determine whether capital punishment in the state should be abolished or not. This follows the resolution and passage of a bill by the State Senate that banned the death penalty in the state. The state will be the latest state to abolish the death penalty after New Mexico did the same in 2009.
Pressure came on the legislators in the state after it emerged that most of the inmates on Death Row were either innocent or were wrongly accused. The realization of that fact caused the state to place a moratorium on all executions in 2000. It is estimated that several people on the Death Row were innocent. A group that advocates for the death penalty to be abolished in the state, Illinois Coalition Against the Death Penalty believes that as much as 20 people on Death Row are innocent.
It cannot be taken for granted that the death penalty will be abolished. Gov. Quinn had indicated previously that he believes that people who commit worse kinds of crimes should be executed but he abhors innocent people being killed. If the bill is signed as many people believe it will, Illinois will become the 16th state to abolish the death penalty.