Illinois Governor Pat Quinn's decision yesterday to abolish the death penalty will likely contribute to a nationwide trend.
At the height of support for the death penalty, 38 imposed the ultimate sentence but Quinn's decision Wednesday means that number is down to 34 according to Richard Dieter with the Death Sentence Information Center. Dieter says a lot of state's have been following what happens here in Illinois. He says people go interested in this state when so many men started being exonerated here.
"That was an eye opener not just for Illinois but for the country, and then when the governor took action on that that said this is a serious problem," says Dieter referring to former Governor George Ryan's decision to clear death row in 2003.
Ryan put the death penalty on hold, and Dieter says Quinn's decision to do away with it entirely is going to be looked at closely by other state's because Illinois has spent so much time debating this issue.