- Two men seriously hurt in crash near Fruitland (9/21/16)3
- Community helps Jackson family with two cases of muscular dystrophy (9/19/16)
- Perryville man arrested for alleged patronizing prostitution, harassment (9/23/16)6
- Eldorado Resorts to buy Isle of Capri Casinos (9/20/16)7
- Concealed-carry restrictions remain in Missouri despite new state law (9/18/16)22
- Video and evidence largely confirm trooper's claims in April traffic stop shooting (9/23/16)6
- Funeral procession of former Cape Girardeau police chief Henry H. Gerecke (9/22/16)17
- Cape man accused of attacking pregnant girlfriend (9/22/16)
- Poplar Bluff man accused of beating a grandmother to death with baseball bat (9/18/16)
- Cape man may lose eye after shovel beating, police say (9/25/16)2
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.