Madigan Schedules Hearing on Rauner's Proposal to Reinstate Death Penalty

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan said in a statement Thursday that Gov. Bruce Rauner's public safety proposals - including the reinstatement of the death penalty - will get a legislative hearing next week.

"The issues the governor raised in his amendatory veto of House Bill 1468 deserve a full hearing and consideration before the House," Madigan said in a statement.

"With this in mind," Madigan said House Democrats filed an amendment to a bill "containing the exact language the governor suggested." [[466644833, C]]

"The amendment will be sent directly to the House floor this morning and a subject matter hearing on the measure will be held on Monday afternoon," Madigan continued. "We look forward to hearing from stakeholders and continuing our effort to keep our children, our schools and our communities safe from senseless gun violence."

Rauner proposed the return of the death penalty as one of six "critical improvements to public safety," he said, in his amendatory veto of HB 1468.

As passed, HB 1468 would have implemented a 72-hour waiting period on the sale of assault weapons in Illinois. Currently, there is a 72-hour waiting period for the sale of all handguns and a 24-hour waiting period for other rifles, shotguns and long guns. [[482603801, C]]

Rauner's amendatory veto expands that waiting period proposal to all gun sales in Illinois, not just assault weapons, he said at a news conference announcing the veto on Monday.

He also proposed the return of the death penalty for certain cases, specifically "for mass murderers and for those who kill law enforcement officers," Rauner said.

"There must be a burden of proof where a person is guilty beyond all doubt," he said. "Guilt beyond any doubt for killing a police officer or committing a mass murder, we then will impose the death penalty in Illinois."

Illinois hasn't put a criminal to death since 1999's execution of Andrew Kokoraleis. Then-Gov. George Ryan shortly afterward declared a moratorium on the practice, disturbed by evidence that more than a dozen death row prisoners were actually innocent. [[480710181, C]]

In March 2011, then-Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill officially ending capital punishment in Illinois and simultaneously commuted the sentences of 15 prisoners.

Rauner's veto also proposed a "complete ban" on bump stocks and trigger cranks, the creation of a firearm restraining order to "keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals," and transparency surrounding sentencing and plea agreements in Illinois, as well as the reallocation of local sales tax revenue to fund the placement of "resource officers, public safety officials and mental health professionals" in schools.

While it was unclear if a vote would be called in the full House, the proposals were slated to be discussed in a committee meeting on Monday, Madigan said.

Contact Us