Statehouse Live: Kansas opponents of death penalty tout Illinois repeal

? Supporters of repealing the death penalty in Kansas were heartened Wednesday by the signing of legislation to repeal the death penalty in Illinois.

“Many of the problems that plagued the Illinois death penalty are the same here in Kansas,” said Donna Schneweis, chair of the Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty. “It’s a system that is costly, prolonged and broken,” she said.

House Bill 2323, which would repeal the Kansas death penalty and replace it with a sentence of life without the possibility of parole, is currently in the House Federal and State Affairs Committee.

The committee chairman, state Rep. Steve Brunk, R-Bel Aire, has said he hasn’t decided whether to have a hearing on the bill this session.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law legislation repealing the death penalty there.

“Since our experience has shown that there is no way to design a perfect death penalty system, free from the numerous flaws that can lead to wrongful convictions or discriminatory treatment, I have concluded that the proper course of action is to abolish it,” Quinn wrote.