State of Illinois Archives: on Crime


Pat Quinn: Alternative sentencing for low-level non-violent offenders

In Illinois, for the last 30 years, we have gone from 18,000 inmates in the prison to 46,000. We have to deal with this issue in our state, like other big states. We want to make sure our prisons incarcerate hardened criminals, at all times. We have to do that. At the same time, our society has to ask itself, "Is the best way to punish a low-level, non-violent offender--someone who has committed a crime and has to serve some kind of punishment--is it the best way to have them go to a state prison, with its cost?" I think it's important in our state that we examine this issue.

We are going to take a look at a Sentence Advisory Council. We want to make sure our prisons are always incarcerating hardened criminals; at the same time we want to take a look at how we deal with these low-level non-violent offenders who still must be punished. There may be other ways; there are other ways to do it, and I think that's something we need to embark on this year.

Source: Illinois 2010 State of the State Address Jan 13, 2010

Pat Quinn: Sold unused state prison to federal prison agency

I was contacted by our President and his administration to inspect a nearly vacant prison that we haven't been able to afford to open, Thomson prison. There were then some that when we even opened the door for inspection, criticized that decision. As Governor, I allowed those federal prison officials to come to Illinois to inspect the prison. When they came through here they found that it was an ideal prison for a federal prison that they were anxious to buy. I agreed to sell, for a fair market value
Source: Illinois 2010 State of the State Address Jan 13, 2010

Alan Keyes: Enforcement should target criminals, not social conditions

OBAMA: [to Keyes]: The fact is Iíve passed 150 pieces of legislation that toughened penalties for violent criminals, everything from sex offenders to domestic abusers to gang bangers. So thereís only one candidate whoís ever dealt with hardened criminals on this stage and thatís me. The other guy only talks about it and I think thatís something voters will be focused on in this election.

KEYES: When I was part of the effort to fight terrorists, I dealt with some of the most hardened criminals on the face of the earth. What I learned to understand, that Senator Obama seems to forget when dealing with domestic crime and foreign relations is that you must go after the people who cause the problem and you must get after them before than can do harm. You must deal with the individuals who pose a threat to the decency of our communities.

Source: Illinois Senate Debate #3: Barack Obama vs. Alan Keyes Oct 21, 2004

Alan Keyes: No conflict between pro life and pro death penalty stances

Q: Doesnít your pro-life stance conflict with your support of the death penaty?

KEYES: It doesnít conflict at all. As a matter of fact, abortion and capital punishment are at different level of moral concern. Abortion is intrinsically, objectively wron and sinful whereas capital punishment is a matter of judgment, which is not in and of itself a violation of moral right. There are certain issues that objectively violate the most fundamental canons of moral decency and abortion is one of them: the takin of innocent life. The question of whether or not you should apply capital punishment depends on circumstances and itís an area where Catholics have a right to debate and disagree.

OBAMA: Now I agree with Mr. Keyes that the death penalty and abortion are separate cases. Itís unfortunate that with the death penalty Mr. Keyes respects that people may have a different point of view but with the issue of abortion he has labeled people as terrorists for holding an opposing point of view.

Source: Illinois Senate Debate #3: Barack Obama vs. Alan Keyes Oct 21, 2004

Alan Keyes: Sentencing gang members to death sends strong social message

Q: [to Obama]: On mandatory death sentences for gang members who kill cops you voted no. Would you explain?

OBAMA: [The proposed legislation] was entirely unnecessary and unconstitutional. It suggested that I could kill a police officer but because Iím not a gang member, I would be treated differently. I think both cases should be death penalty eligible.

KEYES: Senator Obama does not think it superfluous to have hate crimes legislation that adds a special animus to certain acts of violence already penalized against the law. But in order to convey against those certain acts a special category of deviation from society. The law provides a special message aimed at discouraging things considered especially harmful to a society and a community.

Source: Illinois Senate Debate #3: Barack Obama vs. Alan Keyes Oct 21, 2004

Barack Obama: Passed 150 laws to toughen penalties for violent crime

OBAMA: The fact is Iíve passed 150 pieces of legislation that toughened penalties for violent criminals, everything from sex offenders to domestic abusers to gang bangers. So thereís only one candidate whoís ever dealt with hardened criminals on this stage and thatís me. The other guy only talks about it and I think thatís something voters will be focused on in this election.

KEYES: When I was part of the effort to fight terrorists, I dealt with some of the most hardened criminals on the face of the earth. What I learned to understand, that Senator Obama seems to forget when dealing with domestic crime and foreign relations is that you must go after the people who cause the problem and you must get after them before than can do harm. You must deal with the individuals who pose a threat to the decency of our communities.

Source: Illinois Senate Debate #3: Barack Obama vs. Alan Keyes Oct 21, 2004

Barack Obama: Restrict police entry rules, to protect our civil liberties

Q: On the right to let cops go into dangerous places with search warrants without knocking, you voted no as well. Would you explain?

OBAMA: With respect to the potential for police officers not to knock when they go in, thereís an issue of search and seizures and there must be some parameters for law enforcement to protect our civil liberties.

Source: Illinois Senate Debate #3: Barack Obama vs. Alan Keyes Oct 21, 2004

Barack Obama: Death penalty should be enforced fairly and with caution

Q: [to Keyes]: Doesnít your pro-life stance conflict with your support of the death penalty?

KEYES: It doesnít conflict at all. Abortion and capital punishment are at different level of moral concern. Abortion is intrinsically, objectively wrong and sinful whereas capital punishment is a matter of judgment.

OBAMA: I think that the death penalty is appropriate in certain circumstances. There are especially heinous crimes: terrorism, the harm of children. Obviously, weíve had some problems in this state in the application of the death penalty. Thatís why a moratorium was put in place and thatís why I was so proud to be one of the leaders in overhauling a death penalty system that was broken. We became the first in the nation requiring the video taping of capital interrogations and confessions. We have to have this ultimate sanction in certain circumstances where the whole community says ďthis is beyond the pale.Ē

Source: Illinois Senate Debate #3: Barack Obama vs. Alan Keyes Oct 21, 2004

Barack Obama: Death penalty should not discriminate by gang membership

Q: On mandatory death sentences for gang members who kill cops you voted no. Would you explain?

OBAMA: [The proposed legislation] was entirely unnecessary and unconstitutional. It suggested that I could kill a police officer but because Iím not a gang member, I would be treated differently. I think both cases should be death penalty eligible.

KEYES: Senator Obama does not think it superfluous to have hate crimes legislation that adds a special animus to certain acts of violence already penalized against the law. But in order to convey against those certain acts a special category of deviation from society. The law provides a special message aimed at discouraging things considered especially harmful to a society and a community.

Source: Illinois Senate Debate #3: Barack Obama vs. Alan Keyes Oct 21, 2004

Rodney Davis: Expand death penalty; limit aappeals

Source: Illinois State 1996 National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 1996

Rodney Davis: Mandatory life sentences for third-time felons

Source: Illinois State 1996 National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 1996

  • The above quotations are from State of Illinois Politicians: Archives.
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2016 Presidential contenders on Crime:
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Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Andrew Cuomo(NY)
Mayor Rahm Emanuel(IL)
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Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
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Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Secy.Condi Rice(CA)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Rep.Paul Ryan(WI)
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2016 Third Party Candidates:
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Page last updated: Mar 29, 2014