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Wrongfully Convicted Urge Quinn To Abolish Death Penalty

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Gov. Pat Quinn

Gov. Pat Quinn delivers his inaugural speech on Jan. 10, 2011. (Credit: CBS)

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WBBM/CBS) – Four men freed from prison after being wrongly convicted and sentenced to death are making a public plea to Gov. Pat Quinn.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports, the exonerated former Death Row inmates would like to meet with Quinn. They want to urge him to sign into law the bill that would abolish the death penalty in Illinois.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s Bernie Tafoya reports

Randy Steidl who was convicted and sentenced to death in the 1986 murders of newlyweds Dyke and Karen Rhoads in downstate Paris, Ill., but was later exonerated of the crime. He says there is another option besides capital punishment.

“Life without parole,” Steidl said, “and it guarantees there will never be a possibility of executing an innocent person.”

Steidl says there has never been any proof that the death penalty deters people from committing crimes.

“Why do we kill people who kill people, to show that killing people is wrong?
Steidl said.

He says former Death Row inmates wrote to Quinn a month ago asking for a meeting, but have not yet received a response.

Quinn has not said whether he will sign or veto the legislation against the death penalty.

Quinn has said he supports the death penalty when properly applied, but he hasn’t lifted the moratorium. He said he wants to hear from constituents and would follow his conscience.

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