- Owner of Mary Jane Burgers & Brew in Perryville to open new culinary concept in Cape (9/15/17)3
- Man accused of setting fire to Delta bar; posted photos of it burning on Facebook (9/17/17)5
- McClure man accused of leaving children in hot truck while gambling in casino (9/19/17)1
- How the story of one dog is helping others (9/14/17)1
- New boutique store advocates for special-needs people (9/19/17)
- Retailer may come to Jackson; rezoning needed first (9/17/17)2
- Eyewitnesses testify about fatal shooting; men were using drugs, alcohol (9/14/17)
- Jury finds Harris guilty of murder, 3 other counts (9/15/17)4
- Planet Fitness to anchor Town Plaza shopping center (9/18/17)2
- Mo. conservation agents help fight fires in western U.S. (9/15/17)
Illinois holds broad clemency hearings for death row inmates
CHICAGO -- Illinois opened a marathon series of clemency hearings Tuesday for nearly every prisoner on death row in what could be the most sweeping review of capital punishment in U.S. history.
In all, more than 140 petitions for clemency will be heard before the end of next week. The hearings for all but a few of the state's 160 condemned inmates come after Gov. George Ryan said earlier this year that he intended to review every death penalty case before he leaves office in January.
"This is unprecedented," said Robert Dunne, a member of the Illinois Prisoner Review Board. "Normally we only hear petitions for clemency from death row inmates when their executions are imminent."
Ryan declared a moratorium on executions in 2000, calling the state's death penalty system "fraught with error" after 13 inmates were found to have been wrongfully convicted.
The board will make confidential recommendations to the governor. But Ryan has suggested that he may decide to grant a blanket clemency to all.