Illinois House Votes to Abolish Death Penalty

"You can release an innocent man from prison but not from the grave" said Gordon "Randy" Steidl, who spent 17 years in prison, including 12 on death row, after being wrongfully convicted of a double murder.

Thursday, the Illinois House voted to abolish the death penalty. The bill now goes to the Senate, where passage will be difficult, but not impossible.

Thirty-five states now have the death penalty... Three states — New York, New Jersey and New Mexico — have eliminated the death penalty in recent years.

Illinois would be the 16th state to abolish the death penalty.

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    "Conviction" (none / 0) (#1)
    by lentinel on Fri Jan 07, 2011 at 04:25:18 AM EST
    The film, "Conviction" dramatizes the case of Kenneth Waters, wrongfully convicted in Massachusetts of murder. His sister, played by Hillary Swank, became a lawyer with the single purpose of freeing her brother. She was successful, but it took eighteen long years.

    Had Massachusetts had the death penalty, it is unlikely that Mr. Waters would have not been executed.

    Hillary Swank, who also produced this film, gave an unforgettable performance as Waters' sister and lawyer.

    This is the right way (none / 0) (#2)
    by diogenes on Sat Jan 08, 2011 at 07:58:15 AM EST
    This is the proper way to stop the death penalty if one is opposed to it--by legislation, not by tortured definitions of whether pentothal is "cruel and unusual" or by obstructionist roadblocks to the death penalty which lead to the contention that it is "more expensive" to execute someone in 2011 than to sentence him to prison until he dies of old age at the age of 84 in 2061.
    Of course, the other way to decrease the death penalty is for all 24 Democratic governors to commute the sentences of all inmates on death row in their states.