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A local instructor sees problems with the Governor's plan to bring the death penalty back

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The Governor wants to bring the death penalty back.

Outlawed in our state since 2011, it hasn't really been used for a much longer period of time.

The last execution in Illinois was back in 1999.

"Illinois is not unlike other states in this way as more and more states recently have gotten rid of the death penalty, as people move away from the death penalty rather than toward it," said Meghan Leonard, a judicial politics expert at Illinois State University.  

But Governor Bruce Rauner believes some crimes demand the ultimate punishment.

"For those who commit mass murderers and for those who kill law enforcement officers," Rauner said. 

"It's not really clear that this is an issue that is easily split or easily defined within Illinois," Leonard said.  

As an associate professor at ISU, she sees several problems with Rauner's proposal, including a more stringent application in court.

"There must be a burden of proof where a person is guilty beyond all doubt," Rauner said.  

"So I think any challenge to the law under the state or federal constitution would have a fairly good argument to find any new death penalty statute unconstitutional," Leonard said.

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