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Illinois governor today signed a historic bill to repeal the State's death penalty.
He also commuted the sentences of eleven death row inmates who will now serve life in prison.
The democratic governor Pat Quinn signed the bill during a private ceremony afterwards governor Quinn said it's the hardest decision he's ever made as governor.
Illinois as X executed its last prisoner way back in 1999.
A year later then governor George Ryan imposed a moratorium on capital punishment in the state and overturn the death sentences of thirteen inmates.
He also cleared another 167.
Inmates from death row before -- left office.
With the snow Lynn Sweet from the Chicago sun times newspaper live with a summer Capitol Hill Newfoundland great to see -- Good to see -- it was this point of great argument in Illinois.
Well there was debate most importantly this struggle is without Pat Quinn.
I think the state tilts towards about towards abolishing the death penalty.
Because there is such a long history of -- -- wrongful convictions and the state.
That was the reason that the moratorium was put in place.
Back when governor Ryan was there so there is not any a big cry to continue it because as I said it had been so flawed.
So there was there was no one standing up going.
Our government still should continue to kill our people it's the right thing today.
It never got to -- that there is never populist movement one way or the other.
You did have a governor Quinn told me when I talk to him about this -- a few weeks ago and he'd be when we discuss this.
He did have states' attorneys come to him to ask him to keep the law on the books he did have the families of victims talked to him.
He -- -- -- some people like Desmond Tutu and sister Helen praising who is the none.
Who is figured in the movie Dead Man Walking.
-- -- -- some big appeals from people were very involved in the impact of vile horrible.
Crimes carried out by people what to do about improper punishment but I think a lot of the Illinois history here played a role.
I'm sure it did I wonder if there was any of the discussion of the fact that.
The United States is you know really the only modernized country all the world that still does that and I just wonder sort of that the world view on this sort of thing came into it at all.
I don't think -- governor Quinn didn't mention and we talked I think.
In this case the evening I think it's important Illinois to remember that it got started that not so much as a moral issue.
But because there -- botched cases and people were put on death -- who should not have been there you.
Our friend Lynn Sweet from this Chicago sun times -- it's good to -- thank you.
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