Today, Congressman Bobby L. Rush (D-IL01) released the following statement upon learning of Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into law a historic ban on the death penalty in Illinois and commuted the sentences of 15 death row inmates to life without parole:
"One of the fundamental tenets of our work as legislators is to protect the innocent and today Governor Quinn has made a right and moral decision in placing a ban on the death penalty in Illinois and in doing so he has ensured that no wrongfully convicted person suffers this fate. Life in prison for those guilty of horrendous and capital crimes is punishment enough," Rep. Rush said. "I have long been against capital punishment not only because I find it inhumane, but because most of those who receive this penalty are poor and mostly people of color. Today's courageous action will go a long way toward fixing a system so fraught with error that it has at times convicted and condemned the innocent along with the guilty."