Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Abolition bill will NOT clear death row
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
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        

  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.

* Reader comments closed until April 2
* Quick hits before vacation
* Heads up!
* First-day whiplash in mayor's race
* Pritzker hit on taxes
* Even Trib tires of "Because... Madigan!"
* What goes around eventually comes around
* Londrigan turns to face Davis
* *** UPDATED x1 - DGA follows suit *** Pritzker uses Ives in new video
* Illinois House Bill HB 4900 is Unconstitutional
* Rauner on the hustings
* Quote of the week
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* The natives are getting restless
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...








* Illinois fails to recoup $76 million in Medicai.....
* Illinois fails to recoup $76 million in Medicai.....
* Our View: Not the spring that Springfield needs..
* Bernard Schoenburg: Rauner says he remembers, b.....
* Illinois fails to recoup $76 million in Medicai.....
* Illinois fails to recoup $76 million in Medicai.....
* Illinois fails to recoup $76 million in Medicai.....

* Tennessee trucker, 4 from Illinois die in East Texas wreck
* Thousands in Illinois join US anti-gun violence marches
* Gary man pleads guilty in connection with brothers' deaths
* Chicago, Overland Park mayors wager on Loyola-Kansas State
* Rockford man is world's oldest ice luge competitor
* Bank robber blamed for dozen Texas holdups gets 14 years
* Illinois fails to recoup $76 million in Medicaid overpayment
* Gary-Chicago airport to finance $1.3M corporate hangar
* Hundreds of alpacas in Peoria for weekend national show
* Lake County history museum to open Saturday in Libertyville

* Downstate holds key to J.B. Pritzker's blowout win in primary
* Downstate holds key to Pritzker blowout
* Illinois fails to recoup $76 million in Medicaid overpayment
* $18 million gift to benefit LLCC agriculture program
* Illinois Supreme Court won't take up Rauner's appeal of step pay case
* Former campaign worker sues Madigan fund in sexual harassment case
* Rauner says he has yet to speak to Ives after primary win
* LLCC gets $18 million donation to benefit agriculture program
* Fact check: Rauner cites own remarks as proof of outside support for Election Night claim
* Under the Dome Podcast: It's Pritzker vs. Rauner

* Corrections
* In withdrawal: The babies of Illinois' opioid epidemic
* Cook County wants to give back $94 million in excess property taxes
* Higher Chicago heating bills fuel bonus bump for Milwaukee utility execs
* Higher Chicago heating bills fuel bonus bump for Milwaukee execs

* ‘The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling’ reveals deep emotions in the late comedian
* Horoscope for March 25, 2018
* Loyola’s Ben Richardson has ‘magic’ night; Porter Moser lost in sea of hugs
* Man arrested for DUI again in same place, by same officer, in Riverside
* Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo ‘a wreck’ watching reports of Parkland-inspired rallies
* Final Four-bound Loyola is the Cinderella story that won’t stop being told
* As the losses pile up for the Bulls, the focus is shifting towards a huge summer
* Rogers Park rejoices as Ramblers’ dance continues
* With Patrick Kane as No. 1 center, Blackhawks snap skid with win over Isles
* Killer Mike defends NRA membership as #BlackTwitter comes after him

* Stop feeling sorry for the Austin bomber
* Artifacts from 1893 World’s Fair found beneath Obama center site, but report signals construction can proceed
* Michigan nips Florida State, 58-54, to give Loyola its Final Four opponent
* On eve of '60 Minutes' interview, Daniels says porn helped prepare her for public scrutiny
* 2 West Virginia firefighters killed, 3 injured after truck flips, responding to another crash
* Cinderella's off to the Alamo: Loyola routs K-State, earns school's first Final Four in 55 years
* 'Vote them out': Hundreds of thousands march for gun control across the nation
* Sacramento simmers with tension in wake of fatal police shooting of Stephon Clark
* Loyola trounces Kansas State 78-62, its Final Four dream is a reality
* Stars affected by violence join students' gun-reform rallies

» Photos: Thousands 'March For Life' In Chicago
» March 23, 2018: Gentlemen, Start Your Engines
» Final School Funding Bill Signed Into Law
» State Week: Lessons Of The 2018 Primary
» Mural Highlights Acclaimed Artist Keith Haring's Effect On Aspiring Artists
» Future of Artificial Intelligence; Mindfulness In Schools; Teaching The Trail Of Tears
» WBEZ’s Chicago and Illinois News Roundup: March 23, 2018
» The Week in Review: General Election Already Underway
» Web Extra, The Week in Review: Arthur Jones’ Primary Win
» #643 SXSW 2018

* Bernard Schoenburg: Rauner says he remembers, but won't yet name, computerless office
* Statehouse Insider: Winning back Ives supporters will take time
* Angie Muhs: Debt of gratitude owed to Reader Advisory Board
* Our View: Not the spring that Springfield needs
* LLCC: A gift today for the benefit of tomorrow
* Downstate holds key to J.B. Pritzker's blowout win in primary
* Downstate holds key to Pritzker blowout
* Illinois fails to recoup $76 million in Medicaid overpayment
* Guest View: A renewed focus on railroad crossing safety
* Hugh Hewitt: John Bolton is a great addition to the White House

* UPDATED: Savoy mom, three kids killed in Texas collision
* Illinois fails to recoup $76 million in Medicaid overpayment
* Decatur students join thousands in Washington, D.C., 'March for Our Lives'
* Q-C snowfall registers 9.6 inches Saturday
* Fire damages Moline home early Saturday
* 'March For Our Lives' in O'Fallon
* 800 march in cold and snow to end gun violence
* 'Desperate to do something': Decatur anti-violence march proceeds despite freezing rain, hail
* Democratic activists slog through snow to convene
* Hundreds join March for Our Lives movement

* Steel routed by Team USA
* Despite breaking record, Kaneland's Hannula 2nd in shot put
* Naperville seeks first animal control interns
* Blues stop Blue Jackets' 10-game winning streak with 2-1 win
* Devils top Lightning 2-1, move closer to playoff spot

* 14th District candidates agree: Global war...
* After primary win, Naperville nurse Underw...
* Darin LaHood, Cheri Bustos pen letter to s...
* Douglas Bennett claims narrow victory and ...
* Fix what we drive on to drive our economy
* Top 5 Concerts of the Coming Week
* Douglas Bennett claims narrow victory and ...
* COLUMN: Are local candidates unbeholden?
* Deters wants to end congressional dysfunction
* INTERVIEW: Robin Kelly

* Chicago Rallies For March Of Our Lives...
* Anti-gun violence marches in Chicago, subu......
* Thousands in Chicago, suburbs join US anti......
* Trump: I'll never sign a bill like this again...
* Congressional Democrats plan to join 'Marc......

* Deportation imminent for Miguel Perez Jr.,......
* Former Obama Spokesman Denounces Deportati......
* Congressional Democrats plan to join 'Marc......
* Dem senator introduces bill to publicize T......
* Deportation proceedings begin for Afghan W......

* EXTRA: Loyola - 78/Kansas State - 62
* Fed up with gun violence, students demand 'real'
* Why You Should Teach Online Courses
* 4 Things to Know About the Gadget That Will Charge Devices in Seconds
* More than Half of U.S. Employees Fear Losing Their Job to Robots
* Using Data to Expose Industry Needs — and Design Degree Programs Accordingly
* Educators Tend to Forget That Most Online Students Still Live Near Campus
* MERLOT Updated for Mobile OER Hunting
* Thoroughbreds is a handsomely understated drama about awful people
* "My Buddy's" Restaurant Now Open At Clark & Montrose

* February Flooding Information
* IEMA Urges People to Prepare for Severe Weather
* Governor issues state disaster proclamation for flooding in Iroquois, Kankakee, Vermilion Counties
* Winter Storm Warnings for Areas Along and North of I-80
* IEMA Encourages People to Prepare for Earthquakes

* Counterclockwise: people liked the idea of tablets, actual tablets not so much
* Apple proposes accessibility emojis to better represent disabilities
* OnePlus: We're done selling 5T phone in North America
* NBA testing 99-cent stream that lets you watch the final quarter of a live game
* Apple proposes new set of accessibility emoji for the disabled
* Morehshin Allahyari’s 3D-printed project pushes back against ‘digital colonialism’
* You can’t learn design online

* Spring Stats Glance
* Santiago eschews sleeves, Sox spank Dodgers, 7-3
* Fulmer earns White Sox rotation spot
* White Sox to use multiple closing options
* Introducing: South Side Sox’s White Sox Hall of Fame
* Renteria to use 'abundance of caution' for Abreu
* Giolito, Moncada are White Sox to watch in '18

Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
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


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

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