|QUINN: A new legacy topper?|
Gov. Pat Quinn’s name is now mud (or is that Mudd) to state’s attorneys across Illinois – many of whom have a prosecutorial mentality that makes them want to be able to talk about taking life away from others as a punishment.
I’m sure many of these state’s attorneys will forevermore demonize Quinn’s name and image. He’s the enemy, and I’m curious to see if any of them try to advance their own professional aspirations by taking Quinn on head-to-head.
YET I’M SURE that Quinn didn’t lose much sleep over the thought that he offended prosecutors in all 102 Illinois counties with his action.
For Quinn is the veteran politician who has always been willing to offend people with his actions. If anything, all this does is add “prosecutors” to the list of groups of people who can’t stand him. “Legislators” and “utilities” also can be on the list.
Because the Quinn legacy was cemented decades ago when the one-time tax attorney helped to create the Citizens Utility Board that serves as an excessively vocal watchdog group of utility companies and their issues.
He also was the guy who led the early 1980s effort that resulted in the Illinois General Assembly being slashed in size from 236 members to 177. The cutback amendment, which a whole generation of people who follow the Illinois political scene demonize as the move that made the state Legislature overly partisan.
MY POINT BEING that Pat Quinn’s name has been taken in vain so often in the past few decades that I doubt it even phases him that prosecutors (some, at least) will hold a lengthy grudge because he brought to the only logical conclusion the process started in 2003 when then-Gov. George Ryan imposed the moratorium that effectively abolished capital punishment in Illinois.
People such as state Sen. Kirk Dillard, R-Hinsdale, who talk about now pushing for bills to reinstate a capital crimes statute, run the risk of making themselves look ridiculous – wanting to live in the past instead of accepting that we’re now in the 21st Century. Those who criticize him are revealing the degree to which they’re ideologues, and nothing more!
Part of the reason I feel the need to write this particular piece of commentary is because I have taken my share of cheap shots at Quinn in recent weeks because of how long it took him to come to the conclusion that capital punishment is a thing of the past, and that we as a society need to move forward.
This is one of those few issues where people have a “gut feeling” that determines where they stand on the thought of administering a lethal injection to kill people as punishment for violent crimes. Quinn came off as wishy-washy, as though he thought there might be some sort of compromise on the issue – which there isn’t.
BUT IN THE end, Quinn did what I would have hoped he would do – abolish the capital crimes statute and commute the sentences of the remaining “death row” inmates.
While also reducing the modern execution chamber at the Tamms Correctional Center (one designed specifically for lethal injection, instead of electrocution) to an historic relic with a few swoops of the pen.