Less than a week after Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill that bans the death penalty in Illinois, DuPage County prosecutors officially said they will not seek the execution of an Addison man going to trial in May for the murder of his mother and a prostitute.
Gary Schuning was told by DuPage Judge John Kinsella that if he is convicted of the double murder he faces a mandatory life sentence. After Schuning was charged in 2006, prosecutors said they intended to seek his execution.
Quinn signed the legislation Wednesday and also commuted the death sentences of 15 men on death row to life in prison.
The law doesn't legally take effect until July 1, but prosecutors felt dropping the death penalty against Schuning was appropriate.
Assistant DuPage County State's Attorney Alex McGimpsey told Kinsella that the state "will not seek the death penalty, based on the governor's action."
Schuning, 28, is accused of stabbing his mother to death in her Addison home in 2006 after a night of partying and then using her credit card to hire a prostitute, whom he also stabbed to death Schuning showed no reaction at being told that he would not face the death penalty. Defense attorney Neal Levine said the defendant had previously been made aware that Quinn signed the bill.
Kinsella, who postponed the trial several times with the future of the death penalty among his concerns, has commented several times during previous status hearings for Schuning, calling on Quinn to make his decision.