LIVE session coverage...
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Abolition bill will NOT clear death row

Thursday, Jan 13, 2011

* A little known fact

Even if Gov. Pat Quinn signs legislation that would repeal the death penalty, it would have no bearing on 15 inmates on death row. […]

“It will only affect future sentencing,” said Sharyn Elman, a Corrections spokeswoman, said Wednesday of the proposed ban.

With the 15 men on death row, Quinn has three options: leave the moratorium in place and the inmates on death row; lift the moratorium and “the inmates could eventually be put to death;” or commute their sentences to life or something other length, Elman said.

I checked with Sen. Kwame Raoul, who sponsored the bill. He said the measure only applies to future sentencing.

* So, this story was needlessly inflammatory

Brian Dugan earned the death sentence he faces for raping and murdering 10-year-old Jeanine Nicarico in 1983, the Naperville girl’s father said Tuesday.

That’s why Thomas Nicarico thinks the move by Illinois legislators to repeal the death penalty — which would spare Dugan’s life if it’s signed into law — is “the wrong thing to do.”

“He’s earned capital punishment,” Nicarico said of the 54-year-old Dugan, who was sentenced to death in 2009. “He’s earned the most severe punishment the state can give — and now the state is taking it away.”

Dugan was sentenced to die by a DuPage County jury for Jeanine’s murder, though he also was convicted of two other brutal killings.

Everybody really needs to calm down, including the reporters. Take a breath, people. Look at what actually passed.

* Meanwhile, Sneed is back

Sneed’s bet: Gov. Quinn will move to abolish the death penalty.

† Sneed’s tip: If Quinn does, watch for Sen. Kirk Dillard , Republican leader of the Judiciary Committee, to push to reinstate the death penalty for the worst of the worst crimes: mass murder and the murder of children and law enforcement officers.

Keep in mind that Rolando Cruz was almost executed (three times) for the rape, abduction and murder of a child

Lawrence Marshall, a Stanford Law School professor who had represented several freed Illinois Death Row inmates, said the problem with trying to limit the death penalty to “heinous” crimes is that the emotion surrounding those crimes can lead to errors.

“It’s the very kind of passion that triggers the desire for the death penalty in a particular case that does have the potential to be blinding,” said Marshall, who co-founded the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University.

Even so, Cruz still supports the death penalty.

* It’s conceivable that a Republican Senator who voted for the death penalty repeal could consider that new bill

Downers Grove Mayor and Republican state Sen. Ron Sandack joined with a group of 32 senators voting to repeal the death penalty in Illinois on Tuesday.

The Senate’s vote, which did not split on party lines, came after the House also voted to approve the measure, and the death penalty repeal bill now goes to the desk of Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn for consideration.

“The experience in Illinois tips the balance, to my mind at least, in favor of abolishing the penalty,” Sandack said in a statement Tuesday. “Alarming failures were the cause of the current moratorium on the use of the death penalty. It has been in place for over 10 years now, yet we still do not have a system which instills confidence that the system is without flaw, and that innocent people will not be sentenced to die.”

While Sandack voted in favor of the repeal bill, he said he still thinks the death penalty is appropriate in some situations, though the punishment “as employed in recent years in Illinois, has failed us all.”

* Roundup…

* Quinn refuses to be pinned down on death penalty repeal - Governor says he’ll follow conscience - Daley opposes a ban

* Quinn won’t say if he’ll sign bill banning executions

* Quinn ambiguous about death penalty abolition

* IL justice system will change if death penalty is abolished

* Peoria Co. prosecutor: Death penalty won’t be used

- Posted by Rich Miller        


20 Comments
  1. - phocion - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 11:53 am:

    Solid comment from Sandack, who happens to be a top flight attorney. More Republicans like him and Illinois Democrats might find themselves in serious trouble.


  2. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 12:06 pm:

    –Keep in mind that Rolando Cruz was almost executed (three times) for the rape, abduction and murder of a child…–

    …. that he did not commit.

    That child was, in fact, Jeanine Nicarico.


  3. - titan - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 12:26 pm:

    If the powers that be wish to reinstate the death penalty, they oughtot do so with some additional structural safeguards so as to further minimize the chance for erroneus convictions.

    For example, they might want to consider:
    A. Prosecution of capital cases by the AG instead of the local SAO (insulates some of the political pressure), including some sort of non-local law enforcement review of local law enforcement’s handling of the case.
    B. Increased evidentiary protections must be met before the death penalty may be imposed (eyewitness testimony is insufficient on its own as to identfication, etc.).

    I’m sure there would be several other tweaks that could be added to address the handful typical modes of error we’ve seen in the mistaken major cirme false conviction scenarios.


  4. - That Truth - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 12:33 pm:

    So according to one particular Seanator we get about 50% right. But wait… in the last eight years were 15 for 15 100%.


  5. - That Truth - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 12:42 pm:

    So according to this particular Senator… at least 7 of the 15 are innocent?


  6. - winco - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 1:35 pm:

    I know it is Sen. Rauol’s bill, but if it is signed, there is no way the current death row inmates would be put to death (barring future repeal)—The plain language of the bill says that, effective 7/1/11, “the death penalty is abolished and a sentence of death may not be imposed.” Even if you say “imposed” is different than “carried out,” if the death penalty is _abolished_, then it can’t be carried out either.


  7. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 1:41 pm:

    ===if the death penalty is _abolished_, then it can’t be carried out either. ===

    Not true. The GA can’t change current sentences. It can change future sentences. That’s what the penalty is, a sentence. If they had barred executions, then that would be another story.


  8. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 1:53 pm:

    Look, if Quinn intends to sign the bill, and I believe he does, he could also commute the current death sentences to natural life sentences and be done with it. That’s what I would do in his position because that’s intellectually honest and consistent with opposition to the death penalty.


  9. - That Truth - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 2:26 pm:

    47th Ward… My point! You can’t say abolish because the system is screwed up and then be ok with executing the 15 that are on death row as a result of the system that you say is messed up. This just made it easier for some to vote for it. We the people.. sometimes can see thru the p[olitics.


  10. - Fed up - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 3:03 pm:

    47th ward I agree with you, Quinn will sign the death penalty bill and will probably commute the sentances or even easier just leave to moratorium in place and not deal with it. I favor the death penalty in extreme cases but the list of qualifying crimes grew to large. It is to expensive to keep the death penalty or death row, and although I think it will be another example of Quinn beind dishonest during the campaign quinn should claim this as a cost saving move also.


  11. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 3:36 pm:

    –quinn should claim this as a cost saving move also.–

    I don’t see, morally, how that can be a factor at all.

    I’ll be interested in seeing what Dillard might come up with for reinstating the penalty in some instances. The evidence provisions have to be absolute, beyond the shadow of a doubt. If you can pull that off, I’m willing to consider it.

    I’m not against the death penalty in theory, just how it’s been practiced in Illinois. The recklessness, indifference and corruption have been astounding, shameful.

    I won’t hold any candles for mad dogs like Dugan being put down. He’s 100% guilty of the most despicable evil. The problem is, someone else almost took the needle for him, and he would have gotten away with it.


  12. - irv & ashland - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 4:52 pm:

    It was odd to see Mr. Nicarico quoted without any mention of the fact that he had opposed efforts to reopen the case back when DIFFERENT men were on death row for the awful thing that happened to his daughter.

    He is really a poster-case for why you should NOT listen to relatives of a victim when it comes to sentencing. He is understandably blinded with rage, but it’s left him unable to see simple things, like the fact that he himself was urging the killing of an innocent man not so long ago.

    Poor reporting by the Sun-Times to have missed this.


  13. - Jim - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 5:01 pm:

    Quinn will sign repeal. No one will ever be executed. Quinn might not grant mass commutation immediately, but it will happen.
    Nicarico’s father has a justifiable complaint. Quinn is a death penalty foe masquerading as a supporter.


  14. - Rule of Lenity - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 5:55 pm:

    **If they had barred executions, then that would be another story**

    The legislature needn’t say it outright. Winco is more correct. The ‘imposition’ language is clearly a potential a bar on the executioner’s statute. The power to pull the switch. In any case, if Quinn doesn’t commute, it will be something for the Illinois Supremes to decide. Then they’ll consider whether the legislature has wrongfully trampled on the power of the Governor and the judiciary if they figure it can apply backwards.


  15. - amalia - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 6:36 pm:

    Well, it does seem that this would leave the people on death row eligible to die. My guess is that Quinn would commute the sentences because every bit of media about the bill seemed to indicate that the penalty would end in Illinois. (what were the discussions about this during the debate? If either side knew the consequences, either side would be disingenuous, one side upset that justice would not be served, the other knowing that they were letting a number of folks sit in limbo.)

    The criminal justice system in Illinois is layered with prisoners in under various sets of laws, hence why there is parole, prison review, various sets of criminal sentencing provisions. It’s confusing.

    “shadow of a doubt” ….. are we to introduce that concept into law? Let prosecutors have the power to charge and let there be an early review by the State of Illinois which must carry out the sentence. Could this be done at the earliest stage of the case, as with the recent decision in DuPage County not to seek the death penalty?

    cause prosecutors decide on a regular basis NOT to seek death. doing the math, one can see that the rate of ask for death is much lower than the number of murder cases. While I trust Bob Berlin and Anita Alvarez to make the decision….and these decisions are usually made at very high or the highest levels in these offices…..consultation with the AG would not be bad. It might not help much….the experience level in local prosecutors offices is often far higher than in the AG’s office…..but it couldn’t hurt.


  16. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 6:43 pm:

    ===Well, it does seem that this would leave the people on death row eligible to die===

    Again, executions weren’t banned, the death penalty sentence was banned. The GA cannot overturn prior sentences.


  17. - Rule of Lenity - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 9:00 pm:

    **executions weren’t banned, the death penalty sentence was banned**

    Again, Rich, this begs the question. What exactly is the semantic difference between banning executions and banning the sentence of death? It turns on the reach of the phrase ‘be imposed’, and that’s far from clear.


  18. - steve schnorf - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 9:01 pm:

    Rich, “can’t” or “didn’t”?


  19. - That Truth - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 9:15 pm:

    Back to the point. Law.. ball.. they will never be executed and everyone knows it. It not applying gave moderates political cover!


  20. - Tony - Friday, Jan 14, 11 @ 8:36 am:

    There are some bad dudes awaiting trial that deserve death if convicted. Anyone remember Sheley and his murderous rampage that terrorized the midwest for a couple weeks? I have a feeling Quinn will not sign and let judge and juries decide appropriate sentences. With the advent of improved dna and scientific collection there are some bad guys that are unequivocally guilty and their fate should be decided by the judiciary.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* *** UPDATED x2 *** Where there's a will there's a way
* Pot, meet kettle
* Today's quotable
* Credit Unions – Cooperative in structure, valued in service
* Sturm Und Drang
* The Speaker giveth...
* Consequences of failure
* Denny Hastert oddities and ends
* The attacks continue
* *** LIVE *** Session coverage
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Good morning!
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * Android Pay won’t kill off Google Wallet; “brand new” app promised
        * Android M to allow adoptable storage devices, move app code and private data
        * Android M hides an in-development multi-window mode
        * Google intros Cloud Test Lab to help devs test Android apps
        * ATAP’s ‘Soli’ Radar-Based Gesture Control Could Be The Perfect Wearable Interface
        * Cortana is a star on the Microsoft Lumia 640
        * Google partners with Udacity to offer Nanodegree in Android development

        * Google’s New Wearable Plan: Turn Everything Into a Wearable
        * This Chart Compares the Hidden Fees of Major Airline Rewards Programs
        * Snapchat brings in $538 million from investors
        * The Coolest Android M Features That Google Didn't Announce
        * Intel Close to Deal to Buy Altera for $16 Billion
        * Rejoice: Facebook gets GIF support. Here's everything you need to know
        * All the Settings on Your Camera's Mode Dial, Explained in Three Minutes

        * MLB.TV unveils new media player, price drop
        * White Sox MLB draft 2015 possibilities: Carson Fulmer, RHP, Vanderbilt
        * Beck hopes to build on debut, earn return trip
        * White Sox hurt by miscues, can't bottle up O's
        * Orioles 6, White Sox 3: Settling for a split
        * White Sox hurt by miscues, can't bottle up O's
        * Dominant Sale sets up tight Game 1 victory

        ...............


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        May 2015
        April 2015
        March 2015
        February 2015
        January 2015
        December 2014
        November 2014
        October 2014
        September 2014
        August 2014
        July 2014
        June 2014
        May 2014
        April 2014
        March 2014
        February 2014
        January 2014
        December 2013
        November 2013
        October 2013
        September 2013
        August 2013
        July 2013
        June 2013
        May 2013
        April 2013
        March 2013
        February 2013
        January 2013
        December 2012
        November 2012
        October 2012
        September 2012
        August 2012
        July 2012
        June 2012
        May 2012
        April 2012
        March 2012
        February 2012
        January 2012
        December 2011
        November 2011
        October 2011
        September 2011
        August 2011
        July 2011
        June 2011
        May 2011
        April 2011
        March 2011
        February 2011
        January 2011
        December 2010
        November 2010
        October 2010
        September 2010
        August 2010
        July 2010
        June 2010
        May 2010
        April 2010
        March 2010
        February 2010
        January 2010
        December 2009
        November 2009
        October 2009
        September 2009
        August 2009
        July 2009
        June 2009
        May 2009
        April 2009
        March 2009
        February 2009
        January 2009
        December 2008
        November 2008
        October 2008
        September 2008
        August 2008
        July 2008
        June 2008
        May 2008
        April 2008
        March 2008
        February 2008
        January 2008
        December 2007
        November 2007
        October 2007
        September 2007
        August 2007
        July 2007
        June 2007
        May 2007
        April 2007
        March 2007
        February 2007
        January 2007
        December 2006
        November 2006
        October 2006
        September 2006
        August 2006
        July 2006
        June 2006
        May 2006
        April 2006
        March 2006
        February 2006
        January 2006
        December 2005
        April 2005
        March 2005
        February 2005
        January 2005
        December 2004
        November 2004
        October 2004

        Blog*Spot Archives
        November 2005
        October 2005
        September 2005
        August 2005
        July 2005
        June 2005
        May 2005

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * Rauner stays out of sight as he maps out overti.....
        * The attacks continue..
        * Pot, meet kettle..
        * Latest on Dennis Hastert: Statue to honor ex-sp.....
        * Illinois was preparing to build a statue of Has.....
        * Chicago’s heart of mercy for the disabled..
        * The Speaker giveth…..
        * Denny Hastert oddities and ends..
        * Voice of The Southern: Rauner matures, Madigan .....
        * Oak Brook's Mayslake Hall may get $720,000 in r.....


        * Hastert indictment offers few clues about alleged misconduct
        * Latest on Dennis Hastert: Statue to honor ex-speaker on hold
        * Wise expects U of Illinois to face censure over Salaita
        * 'Clean energy' stalls, takes back seat to Illinois budget
        * Timeline of the career of ex-US House Speaker Dennis Hastert
        * Court hearing set in in suspected Indiana serial killings
        * Union presses measure to prevent strike, lockout

        * Rauner agenda bills defeated in committee
        * Bill would prevent strike, lockout
        * AFSCME pushing bill to prevent state workers from going on strike, being locked out
        * Effort to expand Illinois gambling likely pushed into summer
        * Body camera rules, other police reforms approved by Illinois House
        * Springfield-area unemployment at seven-year low in April
        * April unemployment rates fall in all Illinois metro areas
        * Illinois Senate to consider plan for new casinos in Chicago, elsewhere
        * Report: Rauner's education secretary paid with funds from state agency facing cuts
        * Records show Rauner's edication secretary paid under IDHS

        * Fast Fifty methodology
        * Scott Walker: Obama's power plant polution rule is 'unworkable'
        * ADM, Mondelez chiefs among best-paid female CEOs
        * Scott Walker: Obama's power plant pollution rule is 'unworkable'
        * About that time I stowed away on a U.S. merchant vessel


          * Yorkville school district says it has no knowledge about Hastert case
          * FBI: Loop bank robbed
          * Rapper, twice the target of shootings, gunned down in Uptown
          * Retired Chicago physicist's Nobel Prize sells for $765,002
          * Trailblazing couple waiting to marry after helping lift ban
          * 3 shot on their block, sisters find it harder to escape the violence
          * Animal cruelty charges filed after video catches dog walker kicking beagle
          * Hastert, the accidental House speaker, faces own scandal after noted career
          * Police search for missing 73-year-old woman with dementia
          * Doctor: Dying son gives mom 'the gift of life'


          * Chicago school board to consider charter relocations, renewals
          * Ex-US Speaker Hastert indicted on bank-related charges
          * Vets' best friend: Two veterans trekking cross-country with the dogs that 'saved their lives'
          * After pig farm raises a stink, Hoosiers debate rural-city divide
          * City planners and neighborhood residents map out Chinatown’s future
          * City planners and neighborhood residents map out Chinatown's future
          * Sheriff calls on feds to investigate Puerto Rican agencies that send addicts to Chicago
          * Nebraska repeals death penalty, but U.S. isn't quite ready to abandon it
          * FIFA officials arrested on charges of bribery and corruption
          * For Bears chairman, plenty to second guess in McDonald case


          * Esther Cepeda: How sincere is Clinton's Latino outreach?
          * Rauner agenda bills defeated in committee
          * Our Opinion: What's next, Springfield? More jobs, please
          * Brent Glass: Leadership the answer to presidential museum's problems
          * E.J. Dionne: Ireland's 'social revolution'
          * Bill would prevent strike, lockout
          * Effort to expand Illinois gambling likely pushed into summer
          * Body camera rules, other police reforms approved by Illinois House
          * Springfield-area unemployment at seven-year low in April
          * Cinda Klickna: Threats do not equate to leadership


          * Judge dismisses two of six counts in suit against MTD
          * Carbondale man sentenced to eight years for heroin distribution
          * 05-29-15 Penny for Your Thoughts
          * Demolition of century-old Perry Street buildings is unwelcome but unavoidable
          * Showers, thunderstorms likely this afternoon, tonight
          * Is Beckman safe in 2015?
          * Bloomington man seeks new trial in 2008 double murder case
          * Urbana moves commencement indoors
          * Hastert indictment offers few clues about alleged misconduct
          * #SundaySneak: Taco Bell coming to Tuscola


          * Latest on flooding: New flooding death reported near Dallas
          * For O'Malley, a lot riding on Iowa in 2016 campaign
          * No winner after first round of FIFA vote, second round upcoming
          * New Berlin teen continues siblings' valedictorian tradition
          * TV actor Dustin Diamond testifies he didn't mean to stab man

          * The Straw that Broke the Federalist Camel’...
          * Duckworth: Democratic 2016 Senate primary ...
          * Rockford, Peoria Get Grants To Clean Up Co...
          * Democrats face contested primaries in 2016...
          * Duckworth to appear at DuPage Democrats event
          * Duckworth takes aim at Kirk, calls GOP let...
          * Women are stepping up in most major 2016 S...
          * Bustos, Durbin announce $600,000 in federa...
          * Duckworth sticks verbal shiv into opponent...
          * Focus on medical manufacturing in Peoria

          * Durbin discusses safety conerns with train......
          * The Patriot Act Was Controversial Long Bef......
          * U S Senate Committee on Judiciary : Durbin......
          * Bill To Disclose the 28 Pages to be Introd......

          * Latest on Dennis Hastert: Sen. Kirk 'shock......
          * Latest on Dennis Hastert: Statue to honor ......
          * Dennis Hastert mum day after indictment...
          * Pataki candidacy revives media talk of the......

          * Friday photo: DMU in Trenton
          * Proposed Gaming Expansion Revenues Likely Inadequate to Rescue Illinois and Chicago Finances
          * 12 shot and killed, 45 wounded in Chicago over Memorial Day weekend
          * Democrats crush Illinois' workers' comp system reform with faux amendment
          * Roskam and Ryan call for IRS to explain latest taxpayer information breach
          * Back to the future. Rauner’s turnaround agenda is a trip back in time.
          * Humboldt Park Beach and the priorities of corporations over neighborhood schools and neighborhood parks.
          * Beachwood Photo Booth: Eat At Odge's
          * Paging George Bailey, You Have A Call
          * From A Tiny ACORN, Scandal Grows


          * Honoring Illinois' Fallen - United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from Sunrise, Monday, June 1, 2015 until Sunset, Wednesday, June 3, 2015.
          * Celebrate National 529 Day with a College Illinois!® Savings Plan - Enrollment Open Through June 1st
          * State Announces Business Resource Event Coming to Aurora - ‘Make a Connection’ networking and resource program promotes economic growth of small and diverse businesses
          * Gulf War Veteran Reports for Duty as IDVA Women Vets Coordinator, Vet Business Champion
          * Illinois EPA Pollution Prevention Interns begin Twelve Week Program at Illinois Facilities - Students find cost-effective approaches for reducing environmental impacts




              Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller