Don't miss Steve Chapman's discussion of the death penalty in Illinois. He writes in the Chicago Tribune:

The cost will disappear if the General Assembly abolishes capital punishment, which opponents intend to propose as soon as it convenes in January. "I really think we're going to get it done," Jim Covington, director of legislative affairs for the Illinois State Bar Association, told me.

That shouldn't be impossible in a state where death row inmates are more likely to be freed than executed. Given Illinois' horrendous budget problems, the point of keeping the death penalty on the books is mysterious. In the last seven years, taxpayers have spent more than $100 million on capital cases even though the death chamber has been turned into a Starbucks.