A recent poll conducted by Lake Research Partners found that a majority of Illinois registered voters prefer an alternative sentence to the death penalty for those who commit murder. The pollsters surveyed voters in April, and found that 43% believed that the penalty for murder should be life with no possibility of parole and a requirement to make restitution to the victim’s family. Another 18% felt that the penalty for murder should be life in prison with no possibility of parole. Only 32% responded that the penalty for murder should be death. The poll also found only 39% of registered voters even know that Illinois has the death penalty. Jeremy Schroeder, executive director of the Illinois Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, attributed this to a declining murder rate and a declining use of the death penalty in the state. There has not been an execution in Illinois since 2000, when then Governor George Ryan imposed a moratorium on executions in the state. Between 1977, when capital punishment was reinstated in Illinois, and the moratorium in 2000, Illinois freed 13 men from death row and put 12 to death.

(D. Finke, “Quinn favors death penalty moratorium; Brady would lift it,” The State Journal-Register, July 15, 2010). See Life Without Parole or other Public Opinion articles about the death penalty.