SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois Senate President John Cullerton says he supports abolishing the death penalty after a historic House vote to repeal it.
But the Chicago Democrat stopped short Thursday of saying he would ask other senators to support abolition.
Cullerton says it's a very personal decision, and people should vote their conscience.
The House voted 60-54 Thursday on a measure repealing the death penalty. Supporters called for an end to what they called "the tragic story of the death penalty."
Illinois has executed 12 people since the mid-1970s. But 20 have been released from Death Row because of doubts about their guilt.
A House tally earlier Thursday came up short. But the issue was raised again and passed with the required 60 votes.
The bill is SB3539.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)