54 Pro Death Penalty Quotes by Politicians from the U.S.A

Without death penalty for murder, we disregard life

Q: What is your position on the death penalty?
A: There are certain circumstances in which the death penalty is essential to our respect for life. If we do not in our law send the message to everybody that by calculatedly, coldly taking a human life in a way that assaults the structures of law in a society or shows a cold-blooded and studied disregard for the value of that life, if we are not willing to implement the death penalty in those circumstances, then we are actually sending a message of contempt for human life. We are encouraging people to believe that that step is not in fact a terminal step, when they fatefully and fatally decide to move against the life of another human being. So I think that there are circumstances under which it is essential, in fact, that we have and apply the death penalty in order to send a clear moral message to people throughout our society that we will not tolerate that kind of disrespect for life.

Source: GOP Debate in Manchester NH Jan 26, 2000

Alan Lee Keyes (born August 7, 1950) is an American conservative political activist, author, former diplomat, and perennial candidate for public office. He ran for President of the United States in 1996, 2000, and 2008, and was a Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in 1988, 1992, and 2004. Keyes served in the U.S. Foreign Service, was appointed Ambassador to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations under President Ronald Reagan, and served as Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs from 1985 to 1987.

Sen. William Haine, D-Alton, a former prosecutor, was among the most outspoken defenders of capital punishment.

"It is a question of righting the greatest wrong. It is not a question of vengeance. It is a question of the people being outraged at such terrible crime, such bloodletting," he said. "If we remove the penalty of death, suddenly the greatest penalty is natural life. It ratchets down everything, and the John Wayne Gacys, all they face is natural life."

And state Sen. William Haine, one of several Democrats to oppose repeal, said Quinn should have pushed for a statewide debate and a referendum on whether to keep capital punishment.

"This removes a remedy of the people of Illinois for great and evil acts of a unique kind: wanton cruelty, terrorism, rape and murder, the butchery of small children, mass murder," said Haine, from the southern city of Alton. "It removes a remedy for the community to seek the penalty of death in which someone forfeits one's life for these great wrongs committed to innocent people."

William R. Haine (born 8 August 1944) is a Democratic Senator representing Illinois’s 56th District. A graduate of St. Louis University, where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree (1967) and Juris Doctorate (1974), the Alton, Illinois native also served as a member of the Madison County Board (1978–1988) and of the Metro-East Transit District Board of Trustees (1981–88). An army veteran of the Vietnam War (1967–69), Haine was Madison County State’s Attorney from 1988 until 2002, when he was appointed to the Illinois Senate upon the early retirement of his predecessor. He is now serving his third term in the Senate.

Sunday 30 December 2012 - A lawmaker who saw her son's killers sentenced to die says Colorado voters — and not 100 lawmakers under the state Capitol's golden dome — should decide whether to abolish the death penalty.

As state Rep. Rhonda Fields' Democratic colleagues attempt to gather support for ending capital punishment through legislation, she has started work on a bill that would put the death-penalty question on the 2014 ballot, she said.

Her counter proposal sets the stage for a political showdown on a traditionally touchy topic at the Capitol, where some key officials' stances against abolishing the death penalty have recently softened.

"Colorado lawmakers should not slam the door on justice for those who commit heinous crimes," Fields said. "I believe that society must be protected, and the voters should decide the fate of capital punishment."

Colorado has executed one man since the death penalty was reinstated in Colorado in 1975. Three men currently wait on death row.

"It's a very insensitive thing to do in light of the recent tragedies our nation and state has experienced," says Fields, who was very active in the aftermath of the Aurora theater shooting on July 20. "It sends the wrong message to the people in our state that no matter how horrible the crime is going to be in the state of Colorado in 2013...we have lawmakers who want to...remove the death penalty as an option for the DA. It's very disturbing to me. I think it's an insult to crime victims. I don't think the timing is right."

Saturday 2 February 2013 - Fields represents one of the most prominent voices of opposition to her fellow Democrats' expected push to repeal the death-penalty in Colorado this session, joining a handful of other states around the nation recently that have banned capital punishment.

"There are some crimes," she said, "that are so heinous that having the death penalty as an option should be something that we retain."

Saturday 2 February 2013 - The bill is expected to be introduced in the Senate first, and Fields stands firm in her opposition.

"I think about my loss every day," Fields said, "and what I can do to be an advocate and a champion for other crime victims, and what I can do to make our community a safer and brighter place."

On Monday 18 March 2013 afternoon, Rep. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, introduced a measure to have voters decide in 2014 whether to repeal the death penalty. Last Friday, two House Democrats, Reps. Claire Levy of Boulder, and Jovan Melton of Aurora, introduced a bill to allow lawmakers to repeal capital punishment. It will be heard Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee.

“The citizens should weigh-in on this,” said Fields. “I don’t personally believe this is up to lawmakers to decide.”

Meanwhile, Maisha Pollard, whose brother Javad was killed in 2005, said repeal of the death penalty is not something that should be left up to state lawmakers.

"It's a decision that should be made by every victim who has had to sit in court. It's a decision that should be for every mother who has had to bury a child," said Pollard, the daughter of Rep. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora.

But defenders of the death penalty had plenty of supporters at the Capitol, too. Maisha Pollard, the sister of murder victim Javad Marshall-Fields, called the bill "insensitive" and "erroneous." Two of the current death-row residents, Ray and Owens, were convicted of killing her brother and his fiancee, Vivian Wolfe, in 2005; while Levy's bill only applies to crimes committed after July 1 of this year, Pollard expressed concern that the abolition measure could help strengthen clemency pleas for Ray and Owens.

"They were found guilty, not because they were black, not because of their age, but because of their decision to commit murder," Pollard said. "Do not put justice for my brother at risk."

Colorado’s debate over repealing the death penalty will stay on hold, for now, after a state House committee decided Wednesday 20 March 2013 to delay a ballot measure on doing away with the punishment.

The ballot-measure suggestion was the second Democratic death-penalty proposal in as many days to go on ice. On Tuesday, an outright repeal was delayed by a separate committee after nine hours of emotional testimony on both sides.

The sponsor of the death-penalty ballot question, Rep. Rhonda Fields, is a supporter who proposed the ballot measure because she supports the death penalty and believes voters would decide to keep it.

Fields’ son was gunned down in 2005 by people who wanted to prevent his testifying in a murder trial. Two men await execution in Colorado for the killing.

“I think the time is not now to abolish the death penalty,” Fields said. She brought up last summer’s mass shooting in a movie theater, which happened in her suburban Denver district.

Fields said she hopes prosecutors seek the death penalty against accused shooter James Holmes. A decision on whether they’ll seek the death penalty is expected next month.

Fields said that replacing the death penalty with life without parole would leave the same punishment for too wide a variety of crimes.

“No matter how heinous the crime … we’re going to say everyone gets the same penalty, everyone,” Fields said.

“My ultimate goal is to keep the death penalty intact, so I really need to wait to see what happens with the other bill,” Fields said.

Rhonda Fields is a Democratic member of the Colorado House of Representatives. She has represented the 42nd district since 2011. Fields earned her master's degree from the University of Northern Colorado. She is the founder of the Fields Wolfe Memorial Fund. She has worked for United Airlines as well. Fields' father served in the military for 35 years, including tours in Vietnam and Korea, requiring his family to move around the country. After Fields graduated from high school in Baltimore, the family moved to Fort Carson, where Fields began to settle down. After obtaining degrees from the University of Northern Colorado, Fields went to work for Denver University and then United Airlines. She is still currently employed with United. In 2005, Fields’ son, Javaad Marshall Fields, had agreed to give testimony of his knowledge of a 2004 murder near Lowry Park in Aurora. Javaad Marshall-Fields and his fiancee, Vivan Wolfe, were brutally gunned down in their car in June of 2005, before Fields could give his testimony. Since then, Robert Ray and Sir Mario Owens, have been convicted of killing them and sentenced to death. In the wake of the tragedy, Fields gave testimony on two different criminal justice bills at the Capitol. Rep. Karen Middleton dropped out of her race after winning her primary contest in summer 2010 to take up another job. When Middleton decided to stop running, she remembered and recruited Fields. "12 weeks ago I was just a working-class mother, a working class woman going to work every day," Fields said shortly before the 2011 session began. "I take care of my mom as a senior citizen, I’m a daughter, and didn’t have this on the radar for me."

“If Capital Punishment is state sponsored murder, then any lesser punishment is a state sponsored murder of Justice. It is Justice, not Laws that cures the society.”

“Capital Punishment is the only Justice that suits a murderer.”

Saqib Ali (born January 21, 1975) is a State Delegate in the Maryland House of Delegates, having been elected in 2006 to represent the 39th District.

Sen. Don Harmon, an Oak Park Democrat, took issue with several characterizations of a potential death penalty as a prosecutor's "tool." He said a prosecutor's promise not to seek death in exchange for a guilty plea holds the potential for as much mischief as confessions manufactured by police tortures in the 1980s that led to videotaping suspect interviews.

"This is not a tool. This is an awesome power," Harmon said. "Can you imagine if you had the power to say, 'You should do what I'm telling you to do, or I will use the full force of the law and the power of the state of Illinois to try to kill you?'"

Don Harmon (born 26 November 1966) is a Democratic member of the Illinois Senate, representing the 39th District since 2003. His district includes the Chicago neighborhood of Austin and the suburbs of Oak Park, Elmwood Park, Berkeley, Bensenville, Franklin Park, Melrose Park, Northlake, River Forest, River Grove, Rosemont, Schiller Park, and Stone Park. Senator Harmon serves as Vice-Chair of the Judiciary Committee, and on the Assignments, Environment, Executive, Executive Appointments, Redistricting, and Telecommunications and Technology Committees. In January 2009, incoming Senate President John Cullerton appointed Harmon Assistant Majority Leader.

"To allow this to continue to sit in the drawer is to make a mockery of the democratic and legislative process," Miller, a capital punishment supporter, said in an interview last week. "We swear to uphold the law of the state, and the death penalty is the law." 

"Some crimes are just too terrible to allow people to continue to be subsidized by society."

Wednesday 2 January 2012 - Miller said he personally opposes full repeal because he believes there are cases where the death penalty is appropriate, such as in the case of mass murders.

"I strongly believe the death penalty should remain in effect for mass murderers," he said. "I feel strongly that the Hitlers, the Eichmanns, the slavers, these mass murderers, they deserve the ultimate penalty. Those are my personal views."

Thomas V. "Mike" Miller, Jr. (born December 3, 1942) is the current president of the Maryland Senate. He has served as president since January 1987, and has been a state senator representing the 27th District since 1975.

Sunday 18 March 2012 - If the legislation is passed, some of the elected officials from the Lower Shore, including Senators Richard Colburn, R-37-Dorchester, and Jim Mathias, D-38-Worcester, and Delegate Charles Otto, R-38A-Somerset, fear there would no longer be a strong deterrent in place to prevent people from committing murder.

Mathias said ultimately people are responsible for their actions.

"I believe in a society most people are good, but I think, unfortunately, we have to have these laws because some people aren't," he said. "They need to be enforceable and they need to evolve as we go along."

Friday 18 January 2012 - Like McDermott, Mathias continues to be an advocate for keeping the death penalty.

“I support the death penalty,” he said. “I do believe there are cases that warrant the use. In extreme cases, we can incarcerate them for life, but we can’t be sure they won’t kill again. We have to be concerned for our correctional officers.”

Mathias said the death penalty is an important judicial tool.

“I do believe it’s a deterrent,” he said. “I also believe it’s a tool a prosecutor needs. Without the threat of the death penalty, it could be difficult to get sentences of life without parole.”    

James N Mathias, Jr. (born 2 September 1951) is a Maryland State Senator. He is a Democrat from District 38 Worcester.

Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, rejected suggestions by backers of the ban that it is tougher for killers to spend life in prison agonizing over their crimes.

"The Charles Mansons, the Ted Bundys, they are not going to sit in prison and repent," Holmes said. "They are sociopaths."

Linda Holmes (born 15 March 1959) is a Democratic member of the Illinois Senate, representing the 42nd District since 2007. She received her BA from the National College of Education (now National-Louis University) in 1984.

Monday 26 March 2012 - Rep. Mary Fritz, the mother of six and grandmother of 14, is a Roman Catholic who backs the church's teachings on abortion, euthanasia and most other matters of conscience.

But the Democrat from Wallingford breaks from the "culture of life" teachings of the U.S. bishops on one fundamental point: She adamantly supports the death penalty. "I believe it's a deterrent and a matter of justice and I think it's the right policy for the state of Connecticut,'' she said.

Fritz recognizes the inconsistency of her stance in the eyes of church leaders, but that, she said, is "between me and God.''

Mary Fritz is a Democratic member of the Connecticut House of Representatives, representing the 90th District since 1983. She is currently Assistant Deputy Speaker of the House. Fritz is Co-Owner and Manager of a custom furniture and gift store, and Owner of a private nursery. She has also worked as a teacher. She is a member of the Stephen August Early Intervention Center Advisory Board at Darcy School, Cheshire Grange, Heritage Quilters, and the Mid-State Medical Center Board of Governors

"Although seldom actually used in Connecticut (Serial killer Ross during the last 50 years or so), two other major concerns led to my decision. First, that those currently on death row in Connecticut (the Petit killers) will win appeals to stop their death sentences in exchange for life without parole. Second, that a future legislature may be persuaded to change life without parole to include “certain exceptions” to allow parole." [Claire Janowski voted against the repeal on Friday 13 April 2012] 

Claire Janowski is a Democratic member of the Connecticut House of Representatives, representing the 56th District since 2001. She is the Assistant Majority Leader. Janowski has been a Training and Development Consultant with the Aetna Institute for Corporate Education, Pension Specialist with Aetna Life and Casualty, and a legislative aide to the Connecticut State House of Representatives. She is a member of the Friends of Rockville Public Library, Hockanum River Linear Park, Manchester Community College Alumni Association Board, Rockville Christmas in April Board, Rockville Downtown Association Board, Rockville General Hospital Auxillary, Tolland County Chamber of Commerce, Vernon's Bicentennial Committee, and Vernon Historical Society.

Thursday 20 October 2011 - Rep. Laura Pantelakos, D-Portsmouth, the only Democrat to vote for the bill, said, “An eye for an eye. It's in the Bible.”


Laura Pantelakos (August 12, 1935) is a Democratic member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives. She has represented the Rockingham 16 District since 1978. Pantelakos's political experiences include council member, Portsmouth City Council and member of Portsmouth City Delegation. Pantelakos is a part-time waitress. Pantelakos graduated from Morse High School.

"I think to myself, 'What if my daughter was a victim of one of these crimes, or a family member?' " said Sen. Robert J. Garagiola, a Montgomery County Democrat who supports capital punishment.

"It's more from the gut," Garagiola said. "It would be different if Maryland had a hundred-some people on death row and we were executing people every other week. In this state, it's used sparingly to begin with." [Wednesday 27 January 2013]

Robert J. Garagiola (born September 5, 1972) is an American politician from the state of Maryland. A Democrat, he represents District 15 in north-western Montgomery County in the Maryland State Senate.

He said he supports the Supreme Court review of Ohio’s current laws and costs of the death penalty. That review won’t debate the law itself, though.

State Sen. Joe Schiavoni of Canfield, D-33rd, said he supports the study, and as it stands now without having reviewed specific legislation, he is “definitely in favor of keeping some sort of capital punishment on the books.”

“I don’t think that money should be the No. 1 priority. I think victim’s rights and defendant’s rights should be the first and second most important,” he said.

“I think about the victim’s family, and sometimes capital punishment is the only thing that may give that family the justice and closure they’re looking for. And you have to think about how to deter crime,” he continued.

Schiavoni stressed that the death penalty should only be an option for a small number of cases — “the most heinous, egregious, most clear-cut.”


Joseph Schiavoni is a Democratic member of the Ohio State Senate. Schiavoni was appointed to the Ohio State Senate in December of 2009. He has served in that position since, representing the 33rd district. Schiavoni is an attorney. Schiavoni earned his BS in Communications from Ohio University. He went on to receive his JD from Capital University.

"We have too many first responders who are under siege in our community, and I think it's a deterrent," said Zalewski, whose district includes portions of La Grange. "It helps law enforcement make arrests and gather information in a more thorough way, and I'm not ready to have it repealed."

Michael J. Zalewski is a Democratic member of the Illinois House of Representatives, representing the 21st District since his election in 2008. His father is Michael R. Zalewski, a Chicago city alderman.

No matter what Quinn does with the death penalty bill, the issue won't go away, said Sen. Michael Noland, D-Elgin.

"For those who strongly support the death penalty, I urge you not to despair. No politician lost any votes by being tough on crime," he said. "Should this bill pass and the death penalty be abolished, next session you will have the opportunity to file a new bill seeking to reinstate." 

Michael Noland (born 5 December 1960) is a Democratic member of the Illinois Senate, representing the 22nd District since 2007. Noland earned his bachelor's degree and MBA from the University of Illinois at Chicago and his law degree from John Marshall Law School. He served as a Navy Corpsman while on active duty at the Great Lakes Naval Hospital and in the Reserves with the United States Marine Corps. He resides in Elgin with his wife Veronica and their two children.

"I think the death penalty was put in place for one purpose only, and that was to punish the person who committed the crime. That's just my opinion. Now the people that have been put to death already, I can promise you one thing: They won't ever kill again. … Thank you."


Ernest Hewett is a Democratic member of the Connecticut House of Representatives, representing the 39th District since 2005. Hewett is a former welder for Electric Boat General Dynamics. He served on the New London City Council from 1996-2002, as Deputy Mayor from 1999-2000, and Mayor from 2000-2001. Hewett is a member of the New London Democratic Town Committee, New London Neighborhood Alliance, New London Youth Organization Board, and Chair of the Town Hill Neighborhood Association.

The senator, who after a decade in office is not seeking re-election in November, said he wants to see the death penalty re-introduced because “What we have right now isn’t working – you turn on the news every morning and there’s another murder. There’s no more respect for life – the country is upside down.” [Tuesday 17 January 2012]

Tassoni said he feels the legal system is less prone today to making mistakes in murder convictions because of advanced technology such as DNA testing.

Tassoni said his bills, which are headed for the judiciary committee, do not yet have a sponsor for introduction in the House, but “I’m working on it.”

John J. Tassoni, Jr. (born 29 October 1958) is a Senator of District 22 of North Smithfield in Rhode Island.

I support the death penalty as the ultimate possible penalty for those who may commit the most heinous of crimes. It is a decision that I made after very serious consideration. Protection of the public is our most important job as state legislators. A large majority of my colleagues agreed that capital punishment must be among the options in our criminal penalty statutes. [Bills deserve thoughtful debate Sen. Charlie Janssen FremontTribune.com | Posted: Tuesday, January 31, 2012 11:00 am]

Charlie Janssen (born January 15, 1971) is a Nebraska state senator from Fremont, Nebraska in the Nebraska Legislature.

Senator Specter, who formerly served as District Attorney of Philadelphia, and has tried capital murder cases, has stated that “[b]ased on this experience, I am personally convinced that many professional robbers and burglars are deterred from taking weapons in the course of robberies and burglaries because of the fear that a killing will result, and that would be murder in the first degree.” 141 Cong.


Rec. S7893 (June 7, 1995). Senator Specter has described a case in which three criminals decided to rob a grocery store in North Philadelphia. They talked it over, and the oldest of the group, Williams, had a revolver which he brandished in front of his two younger coconspirators. When Carter, age 18, and Rivers, 17, saw the gun they said to Williams that they would not go along on the robbery if he took the gun because of their fear that a death might result and they might face capital punishment – the electric chair.


Arlen Specter (born February 12, 1930) is the outgoing senior United States senator from Pennsylvania. Specter is a Democrat, but was a Republican from 1965 until switching to the Democratic Party in 2009. Elected to the Senate in 1980, Specter staked out a spot in the political center. In April 2006, he was selected by Time as one of America's Ten Best Senators. On April 28, 2009, Specter announced that, after 44 years as an elected Republican, he was switching to the Democratic Party, however saying later that "he did not leave the Republican party, the party left [him]." On May 18, 2010, Specter was defeated in the Democratic primary by Joe Sestak. He will be replaced by Senator-elect Pat Toomey on January 3, 2011.

Thursday 26 January 2012 - Tense moments on the Unicameral floor. The issue, death by legal injection. Passionate debate which almost brought some state senators to tears.

"And I'll tell you something, there were no mistakes made for what happened in that bank back in 2002," Norfolk senator Mike Flood said.

That's when three men walked into a Norfolk Bank, opened fire and killed 5 people. They sit on death row.

"These are vicious obnoxious folks who that have committed the heinous of crimes and deserve the death penalty," Flood said.

Critics of the bill say lethal injection can be a deterrent from murder.

"Retribution is part of the criminal process in America. What I'm talking about is a system that embraces justice, that embraces evidence, that embraces a process where citizens can channel their disgust," Flood said.

Mike Flood (born 1975) is a Nebraska state senator from Norfolk, Nebraska in the Nebraska Legislature and also a broadcaster and a lawyer. In 2007, he was elected Speaker of the Legislature.

"Life in prison does not make it right, when someone has imposed more than one murder or has committed heinous crimes," Scottsbluff Senator John Harms debated. [Thursday 26 January 2012]

John N. Harms (born February 17, 1940 in Bayard, Nebraska) is a Nebraska State Senator from Scottsbluff, Nebraska in the Nebraska Legislature and a former President of Western Nebraska Community College.
State Rep. Steve Mikutel, D-Griswold, represents a district where four of Ross’ victims lived. He remains a staunch supporter of the death penalty.

“There is no mandate from the people to repeal Connecticut’s death penalty law,” Mikutel said. “On the contrary, there is a mandate to keep it. Let’s stop the baloney. There’s an advocacy group made up of a small number of social elites who have taken it as their cause in life to repeal the death penalty. It’s all orchestrated,” Mikutel said. “Go and talk to people on Main Street about the Cheshire murders. Ask them what do you think is just punishment for the Cheshire killers. Only a handful of people get sentenced to death. They are the Michael Rosses of the world — those who commit the cruelest kind of murder.”

Mikutel said the solution is to make a workable death penalty law by ending what he calls a series of frivolous appeals.

Monday 11-04-2011 - Rep. Steve Mikutel, D-Griswold, accused death-penalty foes of subverting the will of the people. "There is no mandate from Connecticut residents to repeal capital punishment,'' Mikutel said. “On the contrary, there is a mandate to keep it, and we should do the will of the people.''

A Quinnipiac University poll released last month found that Connecticut voters support the death penalty by 67 percent to 28 percent, and support has risen over recent years. However, when respondents were offered a choice between the death penalty and life in prison with no chance of release, voters were almost evenly split.

Thursday 12 May 2011 - State Rep. Steve Mikutel, D-Griswold, a leading proponent of keeping capital punishment, praised the two senators for supporting "Dr Petit's quest for justice."

"This is a victory for justice if this holds - justice for all of Connecticut's innocent victims of murder," Mikutel said. "The majority of the people of Connecticut want to keep the death penalty for cold-blooded killers like Steven Hayes and Michael Ross."

State Rep. Steven Mikutel said, "The life of a cold-blooded killer seems to be more valued by these advocates than the innocent murdered, and that is morally wrong." A 2011 Quinnipiac University poll found that 67 percent of registered voters in Connecticut favor the death penalty. Mikutel says legislators should adhere to the wishes of the state's residents over interest groups.

Three young women were murdered in State Representative Steve Mikutel's district in Griswold in the 1980's by serial killer Michael Ross.

"Those kind of callous killers deserve the death penalty and the courts have upheld the death penalty," Rep. Mikutel said. [Wednesday 22 February 2012]

Steve Mikutel is a Democratic member of the Connecticut House of Representatives, representing the 45th District since 2003. He is the House Majority Whip At-Large, and has served on the Griswold Democratic Town Committee since 1977. Mikutel works as a financial consultant. He served on the Griswold Youth Services Commission from 1990-1994, Griswold Board of Finance from 1977-1994, and Griswold Economic Development Commission from 1981-1983.

Those opposed to Senate Bill 185 say that the criminals committing serious crimes deserve it.

“I was nauseated by just being inside the area where those people are in close confinement, so they are being punished in a way that you can't imagine unless you go witness it yourself because you will walk out of there feeling the hair on the back of your neck standing up I guarantee it,” remarked Senator Cliff Larsen (D – District 50).

Cliff Larsen has made a commitment to serve the people of Senate District 50 in Montana by running for the Montana Senate. As a long-term resident of Senate District 50, Cliff understands the increasing complexities of life in our Western Montana community. He is a Democratic politician.

Governor Pat Quinn signed the bill which abolished the death penalty in Illinois on Wednesday 9 March 2011: State Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-East Moline, voted in favor of the measure with some reservations.

"I still think that maybe cop killers, people who pre-plan murders, maybe they ought to have the death penalty," Jacobs said.

Jacobs said he only had two options, and he chose to vote "yes."

"I think you really have to be careful when you make the ultimate sacrifice and take someone's life, that you've got to make sure that they've actually done the crime," Jacobs said.

Mike Jacobs is a Democratic member of the Illinois State Senate. Jacobs has served in the Illinois Senate since 2005. Jacobs was re-elected in November of 2008 with his term expiring in 2012. Before becoming a Senator, Jacobs was a Downstate Liaison for Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. Jacobs graduated from Illinois-Springfield with his Bachelor's Degree in Political Studies and his Master's in Political Science from West Florida.

"They've still lost their loved one. If we really want the death penalty to be a deterrent we should put it there for everyone who commits murder," Lincoln Senator Amanda McGill said. [Thursday 26 January 2012]

Amanda McGill (born March 21, 1980) is a member of the Nebraska Legislature from Lincoln, Nebraska.

Bradley felt capital punishment was needed as a deterrent.

“Some crimes have been committed and some will be committed in the future that justice requires it to be an option,”
he said.

“It needs to be exercised with discretion, but nonetheless should be an option.”

John E Bradley is a Democratic member of the Illinois House of Representatives, representing the 117th District since he was appointed in June 2003. Bradley's legislative agenda is highlighted by his support for the rights of the unborn as well as the expansion of lawful, responsible gun ownership. He has also taken a lead role in passing legislation to fight methamphetamine and protect children from sexual predators.

In response to a question asking whether he would consider pardoning someone on death row if elected, Wheeler noted that wildlife managers quickly killed a sow grizzly bear that killed a camper near Yellowstone National Park this summer.

“If somebody chooses to act like an animal, and do something so horrible that they end up on death row, I don’t think we should  spare the life of people like Charles Manson this person and keep them around for another 35 to 40 years,” Wheeler said. “I think we should end it today.”

Mike Wheeler a Casper businessman and resident for nearly 16 years. Wheeler served on a city council in a tiny Colorado hamlet. When he lived for a couple of years in Massachusetts, he was involved in several campaigns including the 1990-91 campaign for NOTA (None Of The Above). Wheeler chose the Libertarian Party, he said, because there is so little difference between the two major parties. The Libertarian Party makes a strong case for reducing the size of government, while both the Democratic and Republican parties are guilty of expanding government, Wheeler said.

Tuesday 14 February 2012 - Home invasions are rare in Pickens and Anderson counties, officials say, but when the crimes happen the victims are often traumatized.

A Westminster man, in Oconee County, was tied up at gunpoint Saturday in his home and robbed, according to deputies. The perpetrator is still being sought.

Right now the assailant would likely be prosecuted for burglary but state legislators have introduced bills that would create a new category, home invasion, for such crimes.

The bill provides for punishments of 20 years or more for a home invasion and would open the door to a death penalty case if someone dies during the invasion.

“It’s the new thing in the crime world,” said state Rep. Wendell Gilliard, a Charleston Democrat who introduced the House bill.

“It’s a fad,” he said. “It’s something criminals get from movies and music. They want a bad rep so they kick down a door. We’re not going to stop it unless we take a hard stance.”

He said the crime is growing in his area and victims have been tied up, raped or beaten. 

Wendell Gilliard is a Democratic member of the South Carolina House of Representatives, representing District 111.

Governor Pat Quinn signed the bill which abolished the death penalty in Illinois on Wednesday 9 March 2011: State Sen. Gary Forby, D-Benton, said if someone were to kill his family, they deserved an equal punishment.

"I'm from the old school," Forby said. "I'm for the death penalty."

Gary Forby is a Democratic member of the Illinois State Senate. Forby has served in the Illinois Senate since 2003 when first appointed to the position by former Governor Rod Blagojevich. Forby also served in the Illinois House of Representatives from 2001 to 2003. Forby graduated with his High School diploma and also works as a Excavating Contractor and Farmer in addition to being a Senator.

Governor Pat Quinn signed the bill which abolished the death penalty in Illinois on Wednesday 9 March 2011: But Franks, who voted against the legislation in the House, said he disapproved of the repeal.

“I think it’s a mistake. That’s why I voted against it,” Franks said. “I think [the death penalty] is a necessary tool for law enforcement.”

Franks also said that he thought that eliminating the death penalty as a possible punishment put those trying to resolve criminal cases at a disadvantage. He also feels that the death penalty is necessary because murder victims and their families need justice.

“When a jury finds that a person has committed such horrible crimes that he or she should be put to death, I think the jury should be listened to,” Franks said. “There was an expectation of the victim’s family that that punishment would be given and performed. I hate to lessen the severity of these crimes.