Illinois Senate Begins Debating End to Death Penalty

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- The state Senate is debating whether to abolish the death penalty in Illinois.

Critics say the state's capital punishment system is fundamentally flawed and could wind up killing an innocent person. They say reforms made after a spate of wrongful convictions don't offer enough protection.

Supporters say Illinois should keep the ultimate punishment for the most serious crimes.

The Illinois House has already voted to abolish the death penalty. If the Senate passes the measure, it will go to Gov. Pat Quinn.

It's not clear what Quinn would do. He supports the death penalty, but has continued the long-standing moratorium on any executions in Illinois.

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