Gov. Quinn Puts Off Decision On Death Penalty

CHICAGO (WBBM) – State Sen. Kwame Raoul is stopping short of saying that President Obama tipped his hand, or lobbied Gov. Pat Quinn, on Illinois’ bill that would abolish the death penalty.

Quinn has until March 18 decide whether to sign the bill. Without his signature, it automatically becomes law.

Raoul (D-Chicago), who represents Mr. Obama’s old state senate district, said that published reports on the senator’s meeting Friday with Gov. Pat Quinn made the comment attributed to the President “seem like much more than it was.”

Raoul said that Quinn told him that, during an encounter at the White House late last month, the president noted the action by the legislature on Illinois’ legalization of civil unions and the death penalty abolition bill.

Did it constitute lobbying?

“I haven’t heard anything indicating the President urged him to sign it, or anything like that,” Raoul said.

Quinn was in Washington, D.C., attending a meeting of the National Governors Association at the time.

Quinn met Friday with Raoul and State Rep. Karen Yarbrough (D-Maywood), two of the chief legislative sponsors of the abolition bill. He had widely been expected to act on the bill Friday, but abruptly put off a decision until sometime next week.

Raoul indicated that Quinn remains extremely sensitive about the bill and the passionate advocates on both sides of the issue.

“The governor said he’s going to make a careful, thoughtful decision and he doesn’t want to make one that would seem offensive to anyone on either side of the debate,” he said.

In the past, Mr. Obama has voiced support for the death penalty in certain cases, but as a legislator voted against expanding it to cover crimes arising from gang activity. Mr. Obama also was one of the leading proponents of the 2003 changes to the state’s capital punishment law that were designed to minimize the chances that someone could be executed for a crime someone else committed.

Over the past 30 years, 20 inmates sentenced to die in Illinois have later been found to be innocent of the crimes for which they were condemned.

Raoul said he remains “fairly confident” that Quinn will sign the bill. He said Quinn did not indicate how he intends to address the sentences of the 15 inmates currently on Illinois’ Death Row.

More from Bob Roberts
  • Jim

    Why didn’t the moron wait for the tax hike? Stupid is as stupid does.

  • Dave H

    I wonder if these policitians would support keeping the death penalty of a person close to them were a victim of first degree murder? As it is now, they are voting for this to buy votes in their next election. Sad.

  • Mr Voter

    Gov. Goofie, sign the bill or throw it off your esk you spineless wimp….jell-o has more bone then you….


    What do you expect from obamanites,what a disaster we have in the making for not only Illinois but for our nation just look around its getting like the ghetto.

  • mary Mitchell

    We need a person of color in this position !
    Im thinkin , RolanD Burris ?
    Carol Mosley ( non taxpayer /realestate taxpayer )
    Todd Stroger ?
    maybe even myself ? Im worhless !

  • Mr. Justice

    Quinn is an idiot! He has no guts and definitely has no integrity. Perhaps it would be best if he did the will of the people. I believe the majority of people in Illinois want capital punishment. I, for one, am sick and tired of my tax dollars going to house inmates that should have received the death penalty. It costs well over $45,000 per year to house an inmate. Quinn will take the easy way out and listen to his “daddy Obama”.



  • Vicky

    Here’ an idea: put a check box on our income tax forms. If you are for the death penalty, you check the box and pay nothing. If you want to abolish the death penalty and house the inmates for life, simply check the box and send in $$ to pay for them. Simple, no? :) Let’s see how many people want to pay for this human trash.

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