Governor Pat Quinn signed a law banning the death penalty in 2011. It came after a nearly decade-long moratorium on the death penalty that then Republican Governor George Ryan imposed. He voiced concerns about a flawed system and wrongful convictions.
But that context doesn’t deter any of the four candidates from wanting to bring the death penalty back. Here’s venture capitalist Bruce Rauner when asked about it at a debate last night:
"Unfortunately in Illinois we have a proven track record of convicting folks of serious crimes only to find out they’re innocent later. And if we’re not careful in our imposition of the death penalty, we could take away the life of innocent folks."
State Senator Bill Brady:
"It should be used sparingly. And it should only be used when we’re absolutely certain."
State Senator Kirk Dillard:
"I would’ve kept it for the worst of the worst."
And Treasurer Dan Rutherford only said one word when asked if the death penalty should come back.