By Brad Friedman on 1/11/2011, 4:53pm PT  

I suspect we could use some (hopefully) good news right about now. Here is a glimmer of some for a change...

CHICAGO - Illinois was poised to become the first state since 2009 to abolish the death penalty after the state Senate approved the ban on Tuesday and sent it to Democratic Governor Pat Quinn for his signature.
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Illinois has not executed anyone for more than a decade after former Republican Gov. George Ryan imposed a moratorium on the death penalty in January 2000 following a series of revelations that people had been sent to Death Row who were later found to be innocent.

"We've had 20 innocent people on Death Row," said Jeremy Schroeder, executive director of the Illinois Coalition Against the Death Penalty. "It's time to be done with the moratorium and do the right thing."

"We have an historic opportunity ... to join the civilized world and end this practice of risking putting to death innocent people," [the bill's sponsor, State Sen. Kwame] Raoul said before the vote.
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State Sen. Jeffrey Schoenberg, a Democrat who supported the ban, said he believes Quinn will "likely sign" the ban.