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GOP Illinois governor proposes reinstating death penalty for police officer deaths, mass killings

GOP Illinois governor proposes reinstating death penalty for police officer deaths, mass killings
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Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) on Monday suggested the state reinstate the death penalty for mass killers or those who kill law enforcement officers.

Rauner unveiled the proposal Monday as part of a larger rewrite of a gun control bill, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The provision would create a new category of homicide called “death penalty murder.” It would apply to adults who kill police officers or more than one person.

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During a press conference in Chicago, Rauner said those people “deserve to have their life taken.”

Former Gov. George Ryan (R) put a temporary pause on death penalty sentences in the state in 2000, and former Gov. Pat Quinn (D) officially outlawed the practice in 2011.

Rauner also released new gun control proposals on Monday, including support for a “complete ban” on the sale of bump stocks and trigger cranks, devices meant to make semi-automatic guns fire faster.

The devices have been in the national spotlight since a gunman used bump stocks in a shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas last year, killing 58 people and injuring almost 500.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) signed a bill banning bump stocks earlier this month.

The Tribune reported that Rauner also called for a 72-hour waiting period for all gun purchases.

“If someone is perhaps on the verge of committing suicide, if someone is potentially a dangerous person and they have violent acts in mind, that extra two days could make the difference between life and death,” Rauner said.

Current Illinois law mandates a 24-hour waiting period for purchases of assault-style weapons, including AR-15s. Handgun purchases require a 72-hour wait.

Rauner originally rewrote the measure to create a “cooling off” period for those attempting to buy an assault weapon with the intent to cause harm.

The governor's proposal would also allow gun sellers more time to complete a background check.

It is now up to the state’s Democratic-controlled General Assembly to consider Rauner’s changes to the bill. They will either have to accept his changes or override them for the original bill to become law, the newspaper reported.

It noted that Rauner’s rewrite of the measure allows him to push a tough-on-crime mentality while also tackling the issue of gun violence following the high profile school shooting in Parkland, Fla., on Feb. 14.

“It is a comprehensive package, it is a thoughtful package, it is good policy,” Rauner said. “Each piece is critically important.”