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We, the undersigned Catholic Bishops in Illinois, commend the Illinois House for its approval of Senate Bill 3539 to abolish the death penalty.   As the bill now goes to the Illinois Senate for consideration, we urge Senators to follow the lead of their colleagues in the Illinois House in supporting this important legislation.

The end of the death penalty in Illinois advances the development of a culture of life in our state, a state that remains a haven for those who kill unborn children.

Society’s need to protect itself no longer requires capital punishment.  Furthermore, we know that no justice system is perfect and there can be no guarantee that the death penalty will never again be imposed on an innocent life.

His Eminence Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I.
Archbishop of Chicago

Most Reverend Thomas G. Doran
Bishop of Rockford

Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C.
Bishop of Peoria

Most Reverend Edward K. Braxton
Bishop of Belleville

Most Reverend Joseph M. Siegel
Auxiliary Bishop of Joliet

Most Reverend Thomas John Paprocki
Bishop of Springfield-in-Illinois