11 Mar Death Penalty Abolished in Illinois, A Step in the Right Direction
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill outlawing the death penalty and commuted fifteen inmates on death row to life in prison without parole. Students for Life of Illinois commends this action to protect life as a step in the right direction. There will now no longer be a risk in Illinois for an innocent person to be wrongfully put to death. Life without parole will be the maximum penalty.
This historic law is no doubt progress in the defense of human life, but there is still more to do in Illinois. A Gallup Poll from last October reveals that the majority, or 64%, of Americans are still in favor of the capital punishment for those convicted of murder, down from 80% in 1994. As time passes, views, opinions, and attitudes have changed.
John-Paul Deddens, Executive Director of Students for Life of Illinois, expresses his view on the abolition of the death penalty saying, “This is an admirable step for Illinois towards building a culture of life. It is, however, still only a small step for the overall protection of all stages of life. Now that the state has agreed to protect the lives of those on death row, it must decide to protect the lives of the unborn.” He continued, “Next, we need to abolish abortion in Illinois.”
Although the state can no longer take the life of an inmate, it does condone abortion which still takes the lives of over 40,000 unborn children each year in Illinois. Abolishing capital punishment is definitely a success for building a culture of life, but there is still more to be done. Pro-Life advocates still need to work to give the same right to the innocent unborn that Governor Quinn just gave to inmates: the right to life.