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Green for State's Attorney Opposes Death Penalty

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With just three weeks until the election, a little known candidate for Cook County State’s Attorney is trying to get his message out.

Even within the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office, there are people who stare at you blankly if you mention Thomas O’Brien. He’s one of 1,600 people who work in the office and he’s running as the green party candidate to replace Dick Devine. His big issue is the death penalty. Democrat Anita Alvarez and Republican Tony Peraica have both said they would seek it in appropriate cases. O’Brien disagrees.

O’BRIEN: Everybody has authority in our weighted system, the legislature, the executive, the judicial and the state’s attorney has this authority that’s granted to them by the constitution to either decide to seek the death penalty or not to seek the death penalty.

O’Brien says he objects to the death penalty on moral grounds. He also thinks it’s costly, racist in its application, and doesn’t serve as a deterrent. He says he’s reaching out to local anti-death penalty advocates in his bid to get votes.

I’m Robert Wildeboer, Chicago Public Radio.

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