March 9, 2011 / 3:25 PM / 7 years ago

Illinois Governor Quinn may sign death penalty ban

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Governor Pat Quinn will hold a noon press conference on Wednesday, amid speculation that he will sign a law banning the death penalty in Illinois.

The Illinois legislature passed a ban on the death penalty in early January, and Quinn, a Democrat, has been hearing arguments from both sides of the issues to make a decision on whether to sign the bill.

Illinois has not executed anyone for more than a decade after former Republican Gov. George Ryan imposed a moratorium on the death penalty in January 2000 following a series of revelations that people had been sent to Death Row who were later found to be innocent.

State Sen. Kwame Raoul, the measure’s sponsor, said too many mistakes had been made in Illinois.

Grant Klinzman, a spokesman for Quinn, said Quinn will be announcing his decision on the death penalty at the press conference but would not comment further.

Illinois would be the first state since 2009 to ban the death penalty.

Writing by Mary Wisniewski, Editing by Greg McCune

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