Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Rauner wants to undo Illinois’ death penalty reforms to get himself votes

I think former Gov. George Ryan deserves praise for the way he effectively ended capital punishment in Illinois, and former Gov. Pat Quinn ought to get credit for formally ending the practice of committing homicide in the name of “Justice” in our state.
Is Gov. Bruce Rauner really trying to undo ...

But I also realize there are some people living in this state who have ideological hang-ups that cause them to despise the notion that we in Illinois no longer puts people to death as a form of criminal punishment. Which is what I suspect is Gov. Bruce Rauner’s motivation for actions Monday meant to try to bring back capital punishment.

RAUNER WANTS THE people who ridiculously think he’s some form of social liberal to actually be inclined to vote for him come Nov. 6 – instead of desperately searching for a third-party gubernatorial candidate.

Because the way things are shaping up, the number of people who’d be willing to vote for Bruce will wind up being smaller than the Democrats who will eagerly vote for J.B. Pritzker for governor out of the idea of snatching back the post from the GOP.

Rauner stirred up the death penalty pot on Monday when he used his amendatory veto powers to alter a bill that was intended to impose various restrictions on firearms ownership.

That measure included an extension of a three-day waiting period for someone to actually obtain the firearm they want to buy, a ban on bump stocks and trigger cranks that turn regular firearms into higher-powered weapons of destruction and allowing judges to issue restraining orders to disarm people considered dangerous.
... the actions of Pat Quinn ... 

ALL ARE IDEAS the conservative ideologues hate because they see them as restrictions on what they want to believe is a Constitutionally-issued right of all people to own firearms.

So Rauner will score bonus points with the ideologues if his politicking manages to make a mess of this proposal that was approved this spring by the General Assembly.

And if, by chance, Rauner were to actually get the state Legislature to accept his addition of a capital crimes statute for people convicted of murder against multiple people and against police officers, he’d be giving the ideologues something they fantasize about.

Which is why we’re now going to go through a partisan political mess in the near future over what will become of this measure that was one of several the Democratic-run Legislature approved as a reaction to incidents of mass violence occurring across the nation.
... and George Ryan, or just trying  ...

IT MAY BE the big ideological difference between the political partisans – the more liberal-minded want measures they think will reduce the violence, while the conservative-leaning amongst us want to have tougher penalties for those who commit such acts.

Like I already wrote, I supported the past measures that eliminated capital punishment in Illinois. Largely because it became blatantly obvious that our system was more than capable of issuing ultimate (and irrevocable) penalty to people who didn’t commit the crime.

Rauner claims he’s going to get around this by requiring cases where the death penalty is sought to be held to the standard of “guilty beyond all doubt,” rather than the “guilty beyond a reasonable doubt” legal standard that is required for a criminal conviction for any other offense.

Which sounds cute. It sounds nice. But it is a ridiculous notion to think we can achieve. For as long as we have human involvement in the criminal justice system, there are going to be screw-ups.

THERE’S JUST NO way we can ever have an absolute truth within our system. Anybody who says we can is either lying to us or is seriously delusional. Neither of which ought to be trusted.
... to Dump Madigan! come November?

So if I view this effort as a political maneuver by Rauner, it makes sense.

He’s tossing out some rhetoric meant to appease the ideologues inclined to think he’s wrong on abortion, immigration and equality for gay people, hoping that it might get them to vote for him.

And if in the process, he manages to derail a firearms-related bill that they despise they’ll love him – even if, in the end, they wind up sitting on their hands and doing nothing come Election Day.


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