Fresh from the “What took you so long’?” pages of our history books, Friday marks the first day of the end of death row in Illinois.
Gov. Pat Quinn signed the ban into law in March, bringing an end to an era that thrust the state into the center of a widening vocal debate a decade ago about wrongful convictions, according to the Associated Press.
In 2000, then-Gov. George Ryan imposed a moratorium on all executions after a series of high-profile cases involving death row inmates who were found to have been wrongfully convicted and were later released from prison. He cleared the state’s death row three years later, according to the Associated Press.
After Ryan commuted the sentences of 167 death row inmates to life, prosecutors continued to seek the death penalty as they waited to see whether the moratorium would be lifted. But Quinn had already commuted the sentences of the 15 men on death row to life in prison without parole, according to the AP.
Good riddance, death row in Illinois.
Read more at the Associated Press.
In other news: Freedom for Man Who Shot Cop in Racially Charged Mistake.