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Death penalty reinstatement, gun waiting period proposed by governor

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner unveiled a new plan for guns and gun control as he used his amendatory veto power to propose a 72-hour waiting period before sales of all guns in Illinois.

rauner bruceHe would also bring back the death penalty for “cop killers and mass murderers.”

The amendatory veto also bans bump stocks and trigger cranks; authorizes restraining orders to disarm dangerous individuals; and requires judges and prosecutors explain why charges are reduced in plea agreements for violent offenders in gun cases.

“Gun violence has rocked the nation and our state,” Rauner said. “This is a responsible, bipartisan approach to the problem that will help ensure the safety and security of our children, our peacekeepers, our families, and our communities in Illinois.”

Rauner’s proposal and his amendatory veto on Monday came as state lawmakers are looking to finish their work in the next two weeks, including passing a state budget.
The General Assembly is supposed to finish at the end of May, so it remains to be seen how much of Rauner’s proposal will get a vote this session.

Rauner’s amendatory veto changed a plan that would have required a 72-hour waiting period before buying assault-style rifles. Rauner’s veto create a 72-hour waiting period for all gun purchases.

On reinstating the death penalty for cop killers and mass murders, Rauner said: “Few crimes are more heinous than purposeful killings of children and peacekeepers,. We didn’t propose the death penalty lightly. We had to balance the need for safety and, in the end, we wanted to make it abundantly clear we have no tolerance for such atrocities in Illinois.”

Rauner’s amendatory veto would create a new category of homicide called “death penalty murder” and would apply to those 18 and over who prosecutors charge with killing police officers or two or more people.


He further proposed a higher standard for determining guilt in a death penalty murder: Guilt beyond all doubt. The existing standard is guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
“We want to raise the standard because we recognize legitimate concerns about the death penalty,” Rauner said. “We are intent on avoiding wrongful convictions and the injustice of inconsistency.”

The amendatory veto further allows for “gun violence restraining orders” to take firearms away people who are a danger to themselves and others. Those restraining orders would require “clear and convincing evidence for 6-month prohibitions on possession,” Rauner said Monday via Twitter.

In a statement, Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady called called Rauner’s changes appropriate.

“I believe that reinstating society’s most serious penalty for the most serious of violent crimes, with the proper safeguards, is an appropriate response to the horrific violence we have witnessed far too often in recent times,” Brady said. “The governor’s action today recognizes the need for a multi-pronged approach to dealing with deadly assaults. As part of that, those who choose to murder innocent victims in mass attacks or kill law enforcement officers should know they face the severest of sentences.”

 The drastically changed measure now goes back to the legislature, which the ACLU is encouraging to reject.

“Illinois has seen the harm that a flawed death penalty system can do, all while adding nothing to our public safety,” Khadine Bennett, Advocacy and Intergovernmental Affairs Director at the ACLU of Illinois, said in a statement. “Suggesting a return to this failed policy is particularly disappointing from a governor who has proclaimed that the concept of redemption must be a critical part of criminal justice reforms.”

The Illinois House has traditionally fought back against all governors who use their veto pen to try to create new law.

If the House votes down the governor’s changes this time, the 72-hour rifle cooling off period, as well as the governor’s proposed changes, will all die at the statehouse.

– From the Illinois News Network

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