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Death Penalty Opponents Renew Efforts to End Practice

By aaroncynic in News on Mar 13, 2010 7:30PM

Photo via BlatantNews

Advocates to abolish the death penalty in Illinois ramped up their efforts to end capital punishment for good in the state on Thursday. The Illinois Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty held a rally in Springfield, urging lawmakers to move from a moratorium to a full ban on the practice. Illinois has had a moratorium on the death penalty since 2000. Some of this renewed interest in the issue is due to GOP Gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady. Brady is opposed to the moratorium and has said he would lift it if elected, provided that “adequate reforms” were put in place. Death penalty opponents however, have said the system is broken beyond repair.

The United States is one of the largest industrialized countries left in the world who still use capital punishment. The top five countries who still execute convicted criminals are China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United States and Pakistan. And yet, all five countries have been critical of each other regarding human rights.

Aside from the moral and ethical quandaries faced when confronting the death penalty, opponents have also pointed out the economic cost. Death penalty abolitionists have cited the state budget crisis as one more reason to put an end to capital punishment, as it costs millions of dollars to house and eventually execute death row inmates. Currently, there are both Senate and House bills to end capital punishment awaiting hearings, however neither have been scheduled for discussion.