CHICAGO (WBBM) – As Gov. Pat Quinn continues weigh a decision whether to sign legislation abolishing the death penalty in Illinois, state Attorney General Lisa Madigan has made it clear she believes capital punishment should continue.
Illinois lawmakers narrowly approved legislation earlier this year that would end the death penalty in Illinois.
Quinn has said he will take his time and listen to debate from both sides of the issue before deciding whether to sign the measure, or veto it.
On Wednesday, Madigan said she believes the death sentence must be reserved for the worst of the worst criminals.
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“I have long believed that the death penalty is an appropriate punishment in cases where there have been multiple murders or a murder has been committed in a particularly heinous manner,” Madigan said.
The attorney general said that advances in DNA evidence testing have radically decreased the chances of innocent people being sentenced to death.
The House and Senate voted in January to abolish the death penalty in Illinois and sent the measure to Quinn’s desk.
The governor has until March 18th to either sign the legislation or veto it, or it will automatically become law.
If the governor vetoes the measure, lawmakers would not have a chance to override the veto, as a new General Assembly has been sworn in since lawmakers approved the legislation in January.