SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Death penalty supporters pushed ahead today in their effort to reinstate the death penalty in Illinois, one week after Gov. Pat Quinn signed off on repeal of capital punishment.
Two bills were approved by a House Judiciary Committee: one measure would allow citizens to vote on the ban; the second would reinstate the death penalty as a punishment in a limited number of cases.
A vocal opponent during the debate, Jeremy Schroeder, executive director of the Illinois Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, said that he does not believe the effort to reinstate capital punishment will be successful.
The General Assembly and Quinn were clear in their opposition, he said. He reminded the committee of words Quinn spoke when he signed the repeal last Wednesday: "It is a system that is too broken to fix."
State Rep. Dennis Reboletti, R-Elmhurst, sponsor of both bills, said that the General Assembly was only successful in the repeal effort because of the lame-duck timing. He said 26 individuals who supported the ban were retiring or leaving and "they weren't going back to face any voters."