Editor's note: This letter was submitted Jan. 12, when Gov. Pat Quinn had not yet signed the repeal of the death penalty.
We are but a signature away from Illinois becoming a state that no longer need fear executing an innocent person in the illusion of justice.
Thank you to state Rep. Karen Yarbrough for leading the way in the Illinois House. Thank you to state representatives Camille Lilly and La Shawn Ford for cosponsoring the bill to repeal the death penalty. Thank you to state senators Don Harmon and Kimberly Lightford for their support and work at this historic moment.
Thank you to the congregations of Third Unitarian Church and Unity Temple for voting to support abolition of the death penalty. Thank you to the West Suburban Coalition Against Capital Punishment. Thank you to the Oak Park Coalition for Truth & Justice. Thank you to the Chicago Democratic Socialists of America.
Thank you to the Illinois Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and the allies of both organizations for their tireless and strategic work to end the execution process in Illinois.
Thank you to all who put time and energy into ending the violence and destruction inherent in capital punishment. Chick Hoffman is a board member of the Illinois Coalition the Abolish the Death Penalty. After New Mexico became the last state to abolish the death penalty, Chick ticked off the names of the three most recent abolitionist states: "New York, New Jersey, New Mexico. Maybe if we changed the name of Illinois to New Illinois, we could get this thing passed."
Gov. Quinn — sign the bill and we will be a new Illinois.