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Illinois assembly votes to abolish death penalty, but governor hesitates

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 17 January 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d323
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. 1 New York

The Illinois House of Representatives and Senate have voted to repeal the state’s death penalty, but the state’s newly elected governor, Pat Quinn, a Democrat, has not yet signed the bill into law.

Governor Quinn said on 12 January that he would follow his conscience in deciding whether to sign. He has 60 days to decide. During his election campaign he supported the death penalty but said he would maintain the state’s current moratorium on executions.

If he signs the bill Illinois will become the 16th state to outlaw executions.

Two men, Kevin Fox and Jerry Hobbs, who were wrongly accused of murdering their children but cleared by …

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