The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Dallas Jamison, Senior Communications Director

Abolition of Death Penalty in Illinois Raises Stakes for Other States


"In signing legislation that will abolish the death penalty in Illinois, Governor Pat Quinn has raised the stakes for governors in other states that also struggle with broken death penalty systems," said Virginia Sloan, President of The Constitution Project (TCP).

Ms. Sloan also noted, "The governor, along with a bipartisan group of legislators, law enforcement officials and victim advocates, came to the conclusion that the Illinois system is too broken to fix. Questions about effectiveness and accuracy are laudable questions for policymakers to ask in those states with the death penalty, and I commend leaders in states like Kansas, Connecticut, and Montana that are also engaged in similar self-examination of their death penalty systems. Imposition of the death penalty requires an unwaivering and constant vigilance to whether the system is fundamentally accurate and fair."

In 2005, TCP released a seminal report on the problems confronting the nation's death penalty system entitled, Mandatory Justice: The Death Penalty Revisited. The report was developed by TCP's blue-ribbon Death Penalty Committee, comprised of supporters and opponents of the death penalty.

The Constitution Project is a politically independent think tank established in 1997 to promote and defend constitutional safeguards. More information about the Constitution Project is available at