Quinn: Keep Moratorium on Death Penalty

Prosecutors seek death penalty in Nicarico case

Monday, Aug 3, 2009  |  Updated 6:22 AM CDT
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Quinn:  Keep Moratorium on Death Penalty

AP

Gov. Pat Quinn says he doesn't oppose the death penalty but says there needs to be "zero tolerance" for mistakes in capital punishment cases.

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Gov. Pat Quinn says the state's moratorium on capital punishment should continue even as DuPage County prosecutors seek the death penalty in a high-profile case.

Talk about the death penalty has heated up in recent days when convicted murderer Brian Dugan pleaded guilty in a case were two other men had gone on trial and were sentenced to death before being cleared.

Prosecutors want the death penalty for Dugan, who pleaded guilty to the 1983 slaying of 10-year-old Jeanine Nicarico.

Quinn said he doesn't oppose the death penalty but he says there needs to be "zero tolerance" for mistakes in capital punishment cases.

Former Gov. George Ryan cited the Nicarico case as one of several that led to his decision to stop all Illinois executions in 2000.  He emptied death row of its 167 inmates and set-out new rules for any death penalty case.

Prosecutors have sent 15 men back to death row, but the state has not carried out an execution in a little more than ten years.

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