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Illinois Death Clemency Hearings End Today


Chicago, IL – Hearings on requests for clemency from 142 of the 160 prisoners on Illinois' death row wrap up today.

Panels of Illinois Prisoner Review Board members have been hearing six presentations a day during the hearings, which began on October 15th in Chicago and Springfield. The board will pool its recommendations for presentation to Governor George Ryan in November.

The governor can take the confidential recommendations of the board or ignore them. Ryan has said he wants to review every death penalty case before he leaves office in January, but recently added the hearings had caused him to change his mind about issuing a blanket commutation. Ryan now says he probably won't change the death sentences to life in prison for every inmate.