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On March 9,2011, Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois signed legislation abolishing the death penalty in the state. Additionally, the legislation will commute the sentences of 15 death row inmates to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Quinn made the case for signing the legislation arguing fiscal responsibility. The funds saved such as lower costs for lengthy appeals would be better spent on crime prevention and aid to crime victims.
Opponents of the death penalty applauded the decision. At a private ceremony after signing the bill into law Quinn announced, “Fellow citizens we cannot escape history. I think it’s the right and just to abolish the death penalty. With our broken system, we cannot ensure justice is achieved in every case.”