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Illinois House Committee Debating Whether To Reinstate The Death Penalty

CHICAGO (CBS) -- An Illinois House Committee debated Governor Bruce Rauner's proposal to revive the death penalty for mass murderers and police killers in Springfield Monday.

CBS 2's Political Reporter Derrick Blakley has been monitoring the hearing.

In emotional remarks, State Police Director, Leo Schmitz, invoked the name of a longtime friend, murdered Chicago Police Commander, Paul Bauer, saying everything must be done to stop mass killers and the targeting of police officers.

Governor Rauner's Criminal Justice Director, David Risley, said anyone who purposely executes a police officer deserves to be executed.

Death penalty opponent, Rob Warden, said Illinois has had unacceptable error rates in determining who gets capital punishment, with 20 death row defendants exonerated since 1977.

The Catholic Church's Lobbyist in Springfield, Robert Gilligan, simply told lawmakers, "Laws should not require the taking of one life in exchange for another."

In Chicago, FOP President Kevin Graham said he supports the death penalty for those who kill police officers, saying he believes it would provide officers more protection.

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