Friday, March 11, 2011

Legislation in the News Contest -- Week Seven

One of the biggest legislation stories this week was the decision of Gov. Pat Quinn to sign a bill abolishing the death penalty in Illinois. As the New York Times reported:

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.

* * * * *

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.

Congratulations to Max Barack for submitting the winning story.

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.

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