At this time of uncertainty in the state of Illinois, and of positive change in the states of New York and New Jersey, we feel moved to reaffirm our unreserved opposition to capital punishment in the state of Illinois.

New Jersey, former death row prisoners will now receive the sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole. We believe such a sentence would be adequate to protect the public interest in the state of Illinois as well, while inevitably also increasing the chances for convicts, over time, to take responsibility, and even to experience and express remorse, for their acts. Any such expressions would, we think, have profound effects on our entire Illinois community, including especially those within our state’s growing population of survivors of violent crime, whose interests are indifferently served at best by execution of prisoners “in their names.”

Rather than a rightful exercise of state authority, executing prisoners is an admission of failure on the part of the state, since it substitutes revenge for justice and violence for compassion. We therefore call upon you and on our elected officials to work to end this violent sentencing practice without further delay.

Judith Erickson

On behalf of the Oak Park Monthly Meeting of Friends (Quakers)


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