The Common Good
March-April 2003

Pro-Life, Not Execution

by Rose Marie Berger | March-April 2003

Gov. George Ryan cleared Illinois' death row in January when he commuted 171 condemned inmates' sentences...

Gov. George Ryan cleared Illinois' death row in January when he commuted 171 condemned inmates' sentences in the sharpest blow to capital punishment since the U.S. Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional in 1972. "I had to act," said Ryan. "Our capital system is haunted by the demon of error—error in determining guilt, and error in determining who among the guilty deserves to die." Most of the 171 Illinois inmates will now serve life without parole.

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