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      Ill. committee recommends abolishing death penalty

      UPDATED: December 1 at 4:32 p.m.

      A proposal to abolish the death penalty has narrowly cleared an Illinois House committee.

      There could be a call for a full House vote later Wednesday. But opponents say the issue is too important to be decided in the remaining three days of the Legislature's fall session.

      Former Gov. George Ryan suspended executions in Illinois in 2000.

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      An Illinois House committee is narrowly recommending abolishing the death penalty.

      A judiciary panel voted 4-3 Tuesday to send abolition legislation to the House floor.

      Democratic Rep. Karen Yarbrough of Maywood says she might call a full House vote later in the day.

      Former Gov. George Ryan suspended executions in 2000 because 13 condemned men were later exonerated or evidence against them was ruled improper.

      No one has been executed in Illinois since then.

      Proponents say the death penalty doesn't deter crime, is expensive and the system is long and tortuous.

      Opponents complained that the issue is too important to decide in the three days remaining in the Legislature's fall session.

      They say reforms legislators adopted in 2003 are working.

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      The bill is SB3539.

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      Online: http://www.ilga.gov

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