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Illinois death penalty ban takes effect Friday [View All]

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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-11 09:44 PM
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Illinois death penalty ban takes effect Friday
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By Ray Long

Clout Street

5:54 p.m. CDT, June 30, 2011
SPRINGFIELD The death penalty in Illinois officially ends Friday, and the 15 prisoners who once faced execution already have been scattered across prisons throughout the state.
Gov. Pat Quinn signed the ban on capital punishment March 9, but the law didnt take effect until July 1.

At the time, the governor also said he would commute the sentences of those already on death row to life in prison. Quinn wanted to avoid the inconsistency of having a death penalty ban for future crimes but still having inmates awaiting execution.

The reprieve cleared out death row at Pontiac Correctional Center, where 15 condemned inmates were incarcerated. snip

The death chamber has been unused in more than a decade because former Gov. George Ryan put in place a moratorium on executions while in office after more than a dozen condemned inmates later were cleared. Ryan, now in a federal prison for his own crimes, commuted to life in prison the death sentences of more than 160 inmates in 2003. But death row began filling up again as prosecutors waited to see if the moratorium ended.

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