Western professor’s long arm influences death penalty vote in Midwestern state
Illinois House and Senate recently approve abolishing capital punishment

DANBURY, CONN. — A staunch proponent of abolishing the death penalty, Dr. George Kain, associate professor of justice and law administration (JLA) at Western Connecticut State University, has made it his mission to educate people across the country on the facts about the death penalty.

Just last month, Kain’s efforts paid off after the House and Senate in Illinois voted to abolish the death penalty — weeks after Kain sat down with lawmakers and law enforcement officials to give them the facts that the death penalty is costly and ineffective.

Initially, Kain got many scoffs from legislators in Illinois at his argument. “But after my last meeting with police chiefs in Illinois, they were grabbing at the pile of business cards I left on the table. I knew we had a real grip on this once we got the police to listen,” Kain said.

For the past several years, Kain and Terence Dwyer, assistant JLA professor at Western, have been involved with the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, an organization that sponsors training and national efforts to assist states to mobilize different groups. Kain said Illinois has been looking at huge layoffs of police officers, so he tapped into the fact that the more than $100 million spent on trying capital cases and then keeping prisoners on death row could instead be used for retention and training of police.

His ability to effectively spread the word paid off: on Jan. 6, the Illinois House of Representatives voted to abolish the death penalty 60-55; on Jan. 11 the state Senate also approved the bill. To be put into effect, the bill must now be signed by Democratic Gov. Pat QuinnAlthough Quinn has been a past supporter of capital punishment, the state has had a 10-year moratorium on executions. Whether he signs the bill, it will go into effect 60 days following Senate approval.

Kain believes that this is a good sign for Connecticut, which also has increased its number of supporters for abolishing the death penalty.

For more information, contact the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486.

 

Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.

 

WCSU Weather Information

Current Conditions in Danbury


Fair
Current Conditions

55.1° F
Feels like N/A°

Wind: 7MPH from the S
Humidity: N/A%
Pressure: 30 in.
Dew Point: N/A° F


Emergency / Weather Alert Information

The Emergency / Weather Alert will be posted on the WCSU home page any time an emergency or bad weather causes a delay, cancellation or early closing of the university.

Weather Alert Example

 Visit the Emergency / Weather Alert page

Greater Danbury 5-Day Forecast

Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Slight chance for a morning shower, partly sunny and pleasant.
Partly sunny and pleasant.
Mostly cloudy, chance for some showers.
Chance for morning rain then some afternoon sunshine.
Mostly sunny and mild.
36° / 59° 34° / 56° 36° / 43° 39° / 54° 33° / 54°