Comparison of the Illinois Commission on Capital Punishment with the Capital Punishment System in California
134 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2015
Date Written: December 20, 2003
The State of Illinois commissioned a study on the death penalty in that state. The report resulting from that study found eighty-five deficiencies in that state's capital punishment system. This article compares the eighty-five deficits in the Illinois system with the capital punishment system in California. The article documents that California only complies with 6.17% of the recommendations of the Illinois report. Furthermore, certain aspects of the California capital punishment system were flawed in other ways or in the same ways more profoundly than Illinois. For instance, California has more and broader descriptions of what qualifies as a capital case such that there is little or no narrowing of cases to impose death only on the worst of the worst.
As a result of the Illinois study, the Governor commuted the sentences of all of that state's death row inmates to life after finding that seventeen of the 171 death row should be exonerated. California still retains the death penalty.
Since publication of this article, Illinois repealed its death penalty law entirely. California has not.
Keywords: capital punishment, death penalty, sentencing, California, The Justice that Works Act
JEL Classification: K14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation