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February 10 2009 | UNITED STATES

Illinois/USA

Governor Quinn: death penalty moratorium will stay

 
printable version

Daily Herald

Quinn: Death penalty moratorium will stay

COLLINSVILLE -- Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says he has no immediate plans to lift the state's moratorium on the death penalty.

The Democrat who last week replaced ousted former Gov. Rod Blagojevich says he supports capital punishment. But he says he worries innocent people have been sent to Illinois' death row.

During a visit to Collinsville on Friday, Quinn said he wants to make sure there are adequate safeguards to make sure no one is put to death improperly in Illinois. He says that would weigh on everyone's conscience.

Imprisoned former Gov. George Ryan declared a moratorium on executions in Illinois in 2000. Ryan commuted the sentence of every inmate on death row, citing a number of wrongful convictions.

Since Ryan cleared death row in 2003 by switching every death sentence to life in prison, no condemned inmate has yet run out of appeals. Because of that, the "moratorium" has been rendered largely symbolic since no one is on the verge of being executed. If the state lifted the moratorium immediately, it would not lead to any immediate executions.

 

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