Springfield, IL - Just a few minutes ago, the Illinois Senate approved Senate Bill 3539 -- ending the broken death penalty system in Illinois. With the earlier House action approving the measure, all that is required for Illinois to become a non-death penalty state is the Governor's signature.
Coverage of the vote:
Ten years ago, Illinois adopted a moratorium on executions after more than 15 death row inmates were exonerated and released -- one of whom came within hours of execution. Despite a series of "reforms" over the past decade, even more individuals have been released after they were revealed to be innocent. That is why momentum built toward today's vote to end the broken death penalty system.
Over the past few years -- and especially over the past months and weeks -- we have asked you to contact your state representatives and state senators to support ending the death penalty. We are overwhelmed by your efforts -- producing hundreds of phone calls, thousands of emails and a number of in-person visits with legislators.
Like the recent historic victory creating civil unions in Illinois, this joy and satisfaction we share today would not be possible without the support and participation of ACLU members in every part of the State. With your help and support, there are many more victories in our future.
For today, however, let me simply say "thanks" for being there when we call.