December 2, 2011. (Romereports.com)
After a long battle, Governor Pat Quinn signed bill 3539 into law,
making Illinois the most recent US state to outlaw the death penalty. Many of those responsible for the bills passage traveled to Rome to be
received by the pope, when he also spoke out against the death penalty. Benedict XVI“I express my hope that your deliberations will encourage the political and legislative initiatives being promoted in a growing number of countries to eliminate the death penalty.”
Those who traveled to Rome met with ministers and activists from other countries to tell them about their fight in Illinois.
They say the abolishment is already saving their state seven million dollars in expenses and more importantly the moral reasons for ending the penalty.
Executive Director, Illinois Coalition to abolish Death penalty“The other major reason why people should care is because every execution is done in our name. Everybody that is locked up and sent to death row is done under the name of every person in that state.” Aviva Futorian
Attorney, Illinois Coalition to Abolish Death Penalty“It's not a deterrent, it's not necessary, it's expensive, you can keep people who are dangerous in prison much cheaper and it's pretty hard to teach people that killing is wrong when you go ahead and kill them.”
For the coalition from Illinois, they are walking away from this with hope for the future.
Criminologist, Illinois Coalition to abolish Death Penalty“I think my overwhelming feeling is hope, in the US it can be tough going but I really feel that the world is watching and I hope that the tide is turning.”
Around the world 139 countries have abolished the death penalty, while in the US it still exists 34 states.
The sentence also runs the risk of executing innocent people. In the US alone, 138 people have proven to be innocent who were sentenced to death row.
Many from the Illinois Coalition are now turning their attention to end the policy in the entire US and worldwide.