In response to mounting budget pressures, state governments have cut aid to local governments. At the same time, policymakers are calling for more efficiency at the local level in order to make the most of limited financial resources.
Last month, Illinois became the 16th state to abolish the death penalty when Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill passed by the legislature in January. A moratorium on executions had been in place since 2000, when Gov. George Ryan cleared Death Row amid concerns about wrongful convictions in the justice system, reports the Chicago Tribune.