May 25, 2018

Even with death penalty, defense lawyer's 'overall strategy' unlikely to change

15 May 2018, 11:30 | Glen Norman

Rauner calls for reinstatement of death penalty in Illinois for mass murderers, police killers

Bruce Rauner press conference

Nineteen states have abolished the death penalty, and IL is among the seven that have done so since 2007, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, which tracks capital punishment.

In his version, the bill would bring back the death penalty for murdering a police officer, or two or more people. Bruce Rauner raised the subject Monday.

Politicians up for election hunt everywhere for voter support, so very few proposals cause us to do spit takes.

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Mr Conn added that the company was making good progress on its cost-cutting programme, which involves the axing of 4,000 jobs. It said in the latest update that its employee numbers were expected to reduce by 1,000 over this year.

On Monday, Rauner ripped up a bill passed this year by the Democratic-controlled House and Senate that would have extended the "cooling-off" period from 24 hours to 72 hours for the purchase of an assault weapon.

"Individuals who commit mass murder, individuals who choose to murder a law enforcement officer, they deserve to have their life taken", Rauner, a Republican who took office in 2015 and is up for reelection this year, said at a news conference. Gov. Rauner plans to veto legislation that would require gun retailers to be licensed by the state of IL.

Under the GOP governor's proposal, death penalty suspects would have to be convicted by juries "beyond all doubt", not just "beyond a reasonable doubt" required for guilty findings of other criminal offenses.

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After the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, executions hit a peak of 98 in 1999. Supporters of Rauner's plan said it would better protect police. "There is simply no good reason to bring it back, and doing so would run counter to conservative principles of fiscal responsibility, limited government, and the valuing life", said Heather Beaudoin, national coordinator of Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty. In his address Monday, the governor credited work by House Republicans on a public safety task force that included Brady, who indicated support for numerous governor's proposals. They are an extended 72-hour waiting period for gun purchases, a ban on bumpstocks, the ability for law enforcement to disarm individuals they deem unsafe, after due process, and holding the courts accountable by making them explain why charges are reduced in plea agreements for violent offenders.

But even if someone was found guilty of Death Penalty Murder, imposing a death sentence would still be left to the discretion of a judge. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel backed the measure. "We are intent on avoiding wrongful convictions and the injustice of inconsistency".

Rauner, 61, a wealthy former private equity executive who was elected to office in 2014, escaped a tough challenge in the GOP primary in March from state Rep. Jeanne Ives, a conservative lawmaker from the Chicago suburb of Wheaton who argued Rauner was not taking a conservative enough tact on issues such as abortion, gun ownership and immigration. "Suggesting a return to this failed policy is particularly disappointing from a Governor who has proclaimed that the concept of redemption must be a critical part of criminal justice reforms".

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