Future of Illinois death penalty

The future of the Illinois death penalty is not clear at the moment.

Earlier this month, the Illinois legislature voted to abolish it effective July first.

In order for the that to happen, Governor Pat Quinn has to sign the bill into law.

However, if the governor doesn't sign the bill within 60 days of receiving it, the law goes into effect anyway.

As of yet, Quinn has not said either way which way he's leaning.

In the past, he has said he is pro-death penalty, but has kept a decade long moratorium in place since taking office a year ago.

As you can imagine, this subject is a big debate for the people who live in Illinois.

Many crime victims families are in support of doing away with capital punishment.

We spoke with Bill Sloop on Monday.

He's the father of 12 year old Lonna Sloop who was murdered in Hancock County back in 1996 by Dan Ramsey.

"I think it's injustice. Illinois needs to keep capital punishment," says Bill Sloop.

It's been almost 15 years since the brutal deaths of 16 year old Laura Marson of Basco, and Bill Sloop's 12 year old daughter Lonna. Three other people were also shot by this man Dan Ramsey. He was convicted and sentenced to death in 1997, but a technicality granted Ramsey a re-trial in 2007. Again, he was convicted and sentenced to death. Since 2000, Illinois has not put anyone to death, so Dan Ramsey is currently still in jail.

"The man deserves nothing but death," says Sloop.

Sloop was in Springfield earlier this month speaking to legislators about his case and asking them to vote not to abolish the death penalty. He tells KHQA he feels he wasn't heard in the state capital as much as the groups that are *for* abolishing the death penalty. He hopes the governor does not sign the bill into law. More importantly, he hopes politics doesn't come into play.

"Put it up to a vote of the people. Why should 12 senators or however many it is and the governor have this decision?" says Sloop.

Sloop says if the people of Illinois abolish the death penalty, then his family will have to deal with it, but at least it will be the voice of the people and not the politicians. When it comes down to it, Sloop says he knows what it's like to have someone else take away someone he loves, and that's something not everyone can relate to.

"He didn't want to listen to our daughter when she pleaded for her life. Why should we give him his life?" says Sloop.

If this bill becomes law, the money that's saved from putting inmates to death will go toward the Capital Litigation Trust Fund.

That's a fund that helps victim's families get counseling and other services.

Bill Sloop says he doesn't want money...he just wants his daughter back.

And we'd like to hear your thoughts.

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