* 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.”
* 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