Congratulations to Max Barack for submitting the winning story.
Illinois became the 16th state to ban capital punishment as Gov. Pat Quinn on Wednesday signed an abolition bill that the state legislature passed in January.
“Since our experience has shown that there is no way to design a perfect death penalty system, free from the numerous flaws that can lead to wrongful convictions or discriminatory treatment, I have concluded that the proper course of action is to abolish it,” Mr. Quinn said in a statement.
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Illinois joins a wave of states that have reconsidered capital punishment. New Jersey abolished the practice in 2007. The New Mexico Legislature ended the death penalty in 2009. New Mexico’s newly elected governor, Susana Martinez, a Republican, has asked the Legislature to reinstate it, though bills to do so have stalled. The Connecticut legislature voted to abolish the penalty last year, but the governor at the time, M. Jodi Rell, a Republican, vetoed the measure.
With spring break coming up next week, the next deadline for contest submissions will be 9 am on the Friday after we get back: Friday, March 25. Any story that is published before that date is eligible.