March 9, 2011– Today Gov. Pat Quinn made the courageous decision that has led to Illinois becoming the 16th state to abolish the death penalty. Today marks a triumphant victory for abolition advocates across the state, for national allies, and for families who have worked tirelessly over the past decade to see the end of a system that has been deemed “cruel and unusual” and “too flawed to fix.”
For decades JCUA has been working with our allies to end the death penalty system in Illinois. We want to thank all of you at JCUA that have worked with us over the years on this issue and also those who called the governor over the past six weeks urging him to take this critical step to ensure the fulfillment of the human right of all Illinois residents to life with respect and dignity.
We’d also like to thank all local and statewide advocates, and our national allies who have worked tirelessly over the past decade. In particular we commend the organizers and advocates at Illinois Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty for their courage and their clarity to see this legislation through to the very end.
Lastly we commend the state legislature and Gov. Quinn for taking the time to hear the will of the people on this matter and for making the choice that the people support. Our collective hard work on this issue will ensure that Illinois serve as a beacon of hope for advocates and legislators in other states across the country.
Our hard work proves that when we work together in solidarity, justice can and will be achieved.