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Sunday, January 12, 2003

Flawed system

Yesterday, in a much praised and scorned move, very-soon-to-be-former Illinois governor George Ryan commuted the death sentences of 167 prisoners on death row. Three of them were pardoned and walked as free men. A fourth was pardoned, but continues to serve time for another crime. Most of the rest had their sentences commuted to life without parole. A few will be resentenced.

The system is flawd on many levels. However, out of respect to the families of the victims, that's all I'll say now.

SJR: Ryan empties death row
SJR: Victims' families left waiting
Chicago Tribune: Clemency for all
CNN: 'Blanket commutation' empties Illinois death row

Ryan started out as a pharmacist in Kankakee. He was a state legislator for several years, secretary of state for eight years. liuetenant governor for eight years, and, finally, governor for four years. He decided not to seek a second term. Tomorrow at noon he leaves office when the new governor will be inaugurated (sounds painful).

Posted by Marie at January 12, 2003 10:43 PM


Today's little known fact that you might not have known about me ... I lived in Kankakee for 8 years. My Dad is a Walgreen's store manager (and also a pharmacist). Just a few weeks ago we were talking about Gov. Ryan.

Living in Texas for so long, I can't believe he commuted so many sentences. Of course this is the no-mercy state where Bush was proud of how many were executed while he was governor.

Posted by: Christine at January 13, 2003 4:38 PM

Very interesting and small world, too. :)

I recall a reporter asking Bush about the high number of executions in Texas in relation to other states that have found people on death row to be innocent. He replied something like, Texas doesn't make mistakes. Yeah, uh huh.

Posted by: Marie at January 13, 2003 6:52 PM