Entries tagged with “Governor George Ryan

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Prosecutorial Accountability

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Clemency

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Jan 11, 2023

Illinois Commutations Twenty Years Ago Marked Turning Point in Death-Penalty Abolition

January 11, 2023 marks the twen­ti­eth anniver­sary of for­mer Illinois Governor George Ryan’s deci­sion to grant clemen­cy to every death row pris­on­er in Illinois, the largest blan­ket clemen­cy in the mod­ern era of the death penal­ty. It was a water­shed moment in both Illinois’ crim­i­nal jus­tice his­to­ry and in the ongo­ing nation­al con­ver­sa­tion about the death penalty.

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Clemency

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Jul 03, 2023

Louisiana Mass Clemency Efforts Highlight Similarities to Illinois Mass Clemency 20 Years Ago

As Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards (pic­tured) con­sid­ers the clemen­cy peti­tions filed by 51 of the state’s 57 death row pris­on­ers, advo­cates and jour­nal­ists have not­ed the sim­i­lar­i­ties between Louisiana’s death penal­ty sys­tem and that of Illinois, where Governor George Ryan com­mut­ed the sen­tences of all 167 peo­ple on death row in 2003. Both states have had high num­bers of death row exon­er­a­tions stem­ming from sys­temic mis­con­duct, death sen­tences in both states are con­cen­trat­ed in a small num­ber of juris­dic­tions, and both gov­er­nors have expressed seri­ous per­son­al con­cerns about the…

Facts & Research

Clemency

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Oct 15, 2020

New DPIC Podcast: Former Illinois Governor George Ryan on Commuting Death Row and His Journey from Death-Penalty Supporter to Abolitionist

In the October 2020 episode of Discussions with DPIC, for­mer Illinois Governor George Ryan speaks with Death Penalty Information Center Executive Director Robert Dunham about the events that per­suad­ed him to com­mute the death sen­tences of all 167 death-row pris­on­ers in Illinois in 2003. Ryan and Dunham delve into the Governor’s jour­ney from death-penal­ty sup­port­er as an Illinois state leg­is­la­tor to death-penal­ty oppo­nent as Illinois gov­er­nor, and dis­cuss his new book, co-authored with Pulitzer-prize win­ning jour­nal­ist Maurice Possley, Until I Could Be Sure: How I Stopped the Death Penalty in…

Facts & Research

History of the Death Penalty

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Mar 09, 2021

NEWS BRIEF — Illinois Marks 10th Anniversary of Death Penalty Abolition

It has now been ten years since Governor Pat Quinn signed into law a bill end­ing the death penal­ty in Illinois. The abo­li­tion bill, signed on March 9, 2011, was the cul­mi­na­tion of eleven years of debate after Governor George Ryan imposed a mora­to­ri­um on exe­cu­tions in 2000 and then issued four par­dons and 167 com­mu­ta­tions, clear­ing the state’s death row in 2003.