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Senate passed SB3539! Now on to the Governor's desk.

Sign the repeal bill

We won repeal in the General Assembly on 1-11-11!

Yesterday, the Senate passed SB3539 and now the legislation heads to the Governor's desk for final approval.

It was a mammoth effort by volunteers, advocates and supporters who have given countless hours to see that Illinois becomes the 16th state to repeal the death penalty - the third in the past three years.

There are many news stories to share and people to thank but right now, the focus is on urging Gov. Quinn to sign the legislation. We're just one signature away from abolition!

Take a moment right now to call and email Gov. Quinn. Visit http://icadp.org/take_action for all the details.

Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing Today (Tuesday morning)

UPDATE from the Capitol:

This morning, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on SB3539 to repeal the death penalty. Our supporters, including exonerees, murder victim family members and law enforcement, are prepared to testify about the painful impact a capital trial and appeals have the families of murder victims, the cost of maintaining a broken system, the work of the study commissions to fix a broken system, and the risk of executing an innocent person. Once it passes the committee, it can head to the Senate floor for a full vote.

Time is running out on the lame-duck session. Even if you already have, call your senator today at the Capitol switchboard at 217-782-2000 and ask for them by name. You can leave this message with staff: "I'm a constituent and I urge you to support SB3539."

To find your Senator or their direct line, click on this link and enter your address here: http://www.elections.il.gov/DistrictLocator/DistrictOfficialSearchByAddr...

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES Editorial: Illinois Should end the death penalty

CALL YOUR SENATOR AT THE CAPITOL AT 217-782-2000.

Editorial: Illinois Should end the death penalty

Jan 10, 2011 10:48AM

If a state insists on a death penalty, it does so with this knowledge: At some time and at some place, an innocent person will be executed.

No system is perfect, no system is free of mistakes. And that, above all other reasons, is why a state-sanctioned death penalty is unwise. A government cannot possibly impose capital punishment in a way that ensures it is on the right side of justice in every single instance.

The very idea of strapping someone to a gurney and injecting him with lethal drugs for a crime he did not commit should be sickening in a just society.

Last week, in a brave and stunning vote, the Illinois House of Representatives voted to abolish the death penalty in Illinois, 11 years after former Gov. George Ryan imposed a moratorium on executions. The bill now moves to the state Senate, where it could be voted on as early as today.

Breaking News: SB3539 Passed in the House!

SB 3539, the bill to repeal Illinois' death penalty, passed successfully in the House of Represenatives! Thank you for calling your Representatives and making it happen. But it's not over yet: SB 3539 still needs to pass the Senate!

Let's keep up the momentum. Please call your senator at the Capitol right now at (217) 782-2000 and ask for them by name.

The death penalty is almost repealed in Illinois! Call your senator and say, "I'm a constituent and I urge you to support SB 3539."

Other ways you can help:

1. Ask a friend to call their legislators
2. Forward this e-mail to friends
3. E-mail liz@icadp.org if you'd like to help us submit letters to the editor
4. Become a fan on Facebook/icadp

Chicago Tribune Editorial: IT CAN'T BE FIXED

Take a minute to read this editorial from the Chicago Tribune, published yesterday, highlighting the flaws in the death penalty system:

Chicago Tribune: IT CAN'T BE FIXED

7:13 p.m. CST, January 5, 2011

As the General Assembly inches toward a momentous decision on whether to end capital punishment in Illinois, state prosecutors are lobbying hard to stall a vote. Lame-duck lawmakers are hustling to pass a bill without getting the facts, the Illinois State's Attorneys Association says.

Nonsense. Lawmakers have had 10 years to reflect — and act — on the failures of a system that sent at least 20 innocent men to death row. Illinois hasn't executed an inmate since 1999, the year before then-Gov. George Ryan declared a moratorium that continues to this day.

Three years later, Ryan emptied the state's death row, commuting the sentences of 167 condemned inmates and pardoning four others.

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