In 2011, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops sent a letter to the Bishops of Illinois congratulating them on their work to advocate for a legislative repeal of the death penalty. A part of the USCCB's statement is the following:
"The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) congratulated the Illinois bishops, the Catholic Conference of Illinois...and all advocates for their work to bring about the repeal of the death penalty in Illinois. These advocates have worked tirelessly to ensure that Illinois joins the growing momentum to turn away from the use of the death penalty in our country,” said Kathy Saile, director of Domestic Social Development at the USCCB.Governor Pat Quinn signed the repeal of the state’s death penalty March 9, makingIllinois the sixteenth U.S. state to abolish the death penalty.
The passage of this legislation would help “to begin building a culture of life in our country,” said Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, California, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, in a March 3 letter to Governor Quinn.
No longer will there be a risk in Illinois that an innocent person will be convicted and sentenced to death,” said the Catholic Conference of Illinois in a March 9 statement. “Furthermore, society will continue to be protected and those who commit crimes will still be held accountable through alternatives to the death penalty, including life without parole.”