CHICAGO (CBS) — In a bombshell announcement Monday morning, Gov. Bruce Rauner proposed bringing back the death penalty in Illinois for mass murderers and cop killers.
The governor announced the proposal Monday morning as he outlined changes he has recommended for legislation to require a 72-hour waiting period for assault weapons.
As part of an amendatory veto to that gun control bill, he also proposed several other gun control measures, including a 72-hour waiting period for the sale of all firearms in Illinois, a ban on bump stocks and trigger cranks that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire as if fully automatic, and a so-called “firearm restraining order” to take away guns from individuals deemed dangerous by the courts.
The governor said his proposals also would require judges and prosecutors to explain on the record why defendants are facing reduced charges in plea agreements for violent crimes, and allow schools to use sales tax revenue to hire resource officers or mental health workers.
Rauner also said he is proposing to reinstate the death penalty for anyone convicted of mass murder or murder of a police officer.
“These are a set of six specific recommendations that our administration is making today as part of this amendatory veto. We are calling on the General Assembly to act quickly on our veto, and our recommendations, but this is just an initial set,” he said. “We applaud the work of our bipartisan public safety working group. They are continuing to evaluate additional actions.”
The changes would require the approval of the General Assembly. Lawmakers also could override his changes with a three-fifths majority, and approve the original legislation as written. If lawmakers do nothing, the original bill and the governor’s changes would die.
However, the governor said lawmakers could introduce his recommended changes to the gun control bill as separate pieces of legislation if necessary.
In 2011, then-Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation ending the death penalty in Illinois. The move came eight years after then-Gov. George Ryan enacted a statewide moratorium on capital punishment, citing concerns about flaws in the death penalty system.