On Monday, Governor Bruce Rauner has asked the Illinois General Assembly to reinstate the death penalty for mass murderers and those who kill law enforcement officers.
The proposal is part of an amendatory veto of House Bill 1468 which also extends the 72-hour waiting period for delivery of all gun purchases in Illinois, bans bump stocks and trigger cranks, authorizes restraining orders to disarm dangerous individuals, forces judges to explain why charges are reduced in plea agreements for violent offenders in gun cases, and frees up local revenue to hire police officers and mental health workers for schools.
“Few crimes are more heinous than purposeful killings of children and peacekeepers,” Rauner said. “We didn’t propose the death penalty lightly. We had to balance the need for safety and, in the end, we wanted to make it abundantly clear we have no tolerance for such atrocities in Illinois.”
Rauner’s changes to HB 1468 create a new category of homicide called “death penalty murder”, which would apply to offenders over 18 that are charged with killing a peace officer or two or more people without lawful justification.
Defendants would have to be convicted beyond all doubt by a jury.