More than a decade ago, after thirteen men on death row were proven innocent by DNA testing, the state of Illinois imposed a moratorium on executions. Yesterday, Wednesday, Illinois did a good thing. It abolished the death penalty. The 16th state to end executions. The Governor of Illinois, Pat Quinn, said the system was 'flawed"
Governor Quinn --"We have found over and over again: Mistakes have been made. Innocent people have been freed. It's not possible to create a perfect, mistake-free death penalty system."
"We cannot have a death penalty system in our state that kills innocent people,” Quinn said. “Unfortunately that system was in grave danger of doing exactly that in 20 different instances in Illinois. And so what’s really in question is the system itself. If the system can’t be guaranteed 100 percent error-free, then we shouldn’t have the system. It cannot stand. It just is not right in our democracy and system of justice.”
Gov. Quinn commuted the sentences of all the fifteen inmates remaining on death row. The prisoners will now serve life in prison with no hope of parole. Illinois is the 16th state
that has ended capital punishment.
Abolishing the death penalty is not done to protect murderers, to keep them from paying the price for their crimes. Abolishing the death penalty is done to protect those wrongly accused, and convicted. It is not a stretch to believe that Illinois and other states have executed innocent people. It is the innocent blood of those men that cry out from the grave to end this wrong practice.
Some defenders of capitol punishment claim that this broken system can be fixed with the use of DNA testing. DNA testing has spared some of the innocent people in recent years. But what if there is no DNA material to test? What if crooked cops and corrupt prosecutors have tampered with the evidence to convict people, whom they consider guilty, but whom are innocent? No system which depends on the actions and on the judgment of man will ever be perfect. Who but a society of murderers would dare to take a condemned person's life, if there isn't a 100% certainty of that person's guilt? Capital punishment isn't something that can be fixed. It is something that must be abolished, everywhere.