NEW VOICES: Some Prosecutors and Judges Welcome End of Death Penalty

Following the repeal of the death penalty in Illinois, some state prosecutors and judges have pointed to potential benefits to the criminal justice system. Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon recently said that abolishing the death penalty meant that murder trials in the county could come to a conclusion more quicly. McMahon said, “To the extent that we can bring these cases to resolution sooner, and help the families of the victims get some measure of closure and allow the healing process to begin sooner, [it] will be helpful.” Judge Keith Brown, chief judge of the 16th Judicial Circuit, said that the lack of the death penalty will ease some of the burden of allocating additional resources to murder trials. Judge Brown noted that, “prosecuting murders should become less time consuming and less expensive, as the county and the state will no longer need to pay additional attorney’s fees for defendants, pay to bring in additional juries or pay staff and court costs for extended trials.”

(J. Bilyk, "Death penalty abolition will have impact," Kane County Chronicle, March 10, 2011).  See Costs, Victims and New Voices