'Blanket commutation' empties Illinois death row - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Free Your Mind > Free Your Mind Archive
Click Here to Login
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 01-11-2003, 10:25 PM   #1
ONE
love, blood, life
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 11,961
Local Time: 03:50 PM
Normal 'Blanket commutation' empties Illinois death row

i'm curious as to everyone's opinion on this story. despite the fact that is very likely that the majority of these inmates are guilty, i believe governor ryan did the right thing. i think it's better to err on the side of caution when dealing with life and death, and illinois' death penalty system was fatally flawed. and these criminals will never be released from prison. however, my heart does truly go out to the victims' families.

****************************************************

from cnn.com:

'Blanket commutation' empties Illinois death row
Incoming governor criticizes decision
From Jeff Flock
CNN
Saturday, January 11, 2003 Posted: 10:15 PM EST (0315 GMT)

Gov. George Ryan, condemning the process that wrongfully put them there, pardons four inmates on death row in Illinois. (January 10)

CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) -- Outgoing Illinois Gov. George Ryan announced Saturday that he had commuted the sentences of all of the state's death row inmates and said he would "sleep well knowing I made the right decision."

He delivered his unprecedented speech at Northwestern University.

"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. What effect was race having? What effect was poverty having?

"Because of all these reasons, today I am commuting the sentences of all death row inmates," Ryan said.

Ryan's decision affects 156 inmates on death row in Illinois and 11 others who have been sentenced to death but who were not in the custody of the Department of Corrections because they are awaiting re-sentencing or trials in other cases. Some were also in other states' custody.

Ryan, a Republican who did not run for re-election in November, acknowledged during his speech that his actions would not be universally applauded. But he said he felt he had no choice but to strike a blow in "what is shaping up to be one of the great civil rights struggles of our time."

Ryan, who leaves office Monday, pardoned four death row inmates Friday after determining they had been tortured into confessing crimes they did not commit.

Madison Hobley, Leroy Orange and Aaron Patterson were released after being pardoned. Another inmate, Stanley Howard, remained in prison because he had been convicted of a separate crime.

Inmates who have been convicted but not yet sentenced or who have been remanded for a new trial are not included in the commutations, a source in the governor's office said.

All but three of the commutations will reduce the inmates' sentences to life without parole; the remaining three will be reduced to 40 years to life to bring their sentences in line with co-defendants.

Gov.-elect Rod Blagojevich, the Democrat who will replace Ryan, told CNN on Saturday that he disagreed with the governor's decision.

"I think a blanket anything is usually wrong," Blagojevich said. "We're talking about convicted murderers, and I think that is a mistake."

Capital punishment in Illinois came under the microscope after a group of journalism students at Northwestern began looking into the case of Anthony Porter in the late 1990s.

The students, working with their professor and a private investigator, found evidence that cleared Porter after 17 years on death row. Ryan vowed he would do whatever it took to "prevent another Anthony Porter."

Ultimately, 13 inmates who had been sentenced to death were exonerated, and Ryan declared a moratorium on executions in the state.

A panel Ryan appointed to examine capital punishment and review the cases of all death row inmates concluded last year that Illinois had applied capital punishment too often since it was re-established in the state in 1977.

Prosecutor: 'They've had their years in court'
Friday's pardons, coupled with early word that the governor was planning to issue commutations, sparked outrage from prosecutors and family members of victims.

"I believe that he is wiping his muddy shoes on the face of victims, using them as the doormat as he leaves his office," said Peoria County State's Attorney Kevin Lyons on CNN's NewsNight. "It says much more about George Ryan than it does about the death penalty."

Ollie Dodds, whose daughter died in the fire Hobley was convicted of setting and remains convinced he is responsible, said, "This brings back memories just like it happened."

Lyons accused Ryan of arrogantly substituting his own judgment for those of juries and courts that have imposed and upheld the death sentences, assuming that "none of us get it but him."

"Everybody has had not their day in court, they've had their years in court," Lyons said. "It's shameful that the victims of this state, in fact, have to not fear the courts, not the defense lawyers, not the defendants, but they have to fear their very own governor."

Ryan said he decided to pardon the four men rather than commute their sentences to life because he is convinced they did not commit the crimes that sent them to death row. All four men say they were tortured by police.

'Thank God this day has finally come'
Hobley, 42, who was convicted of killing seven people, including his wife and son, in a fire in 1987, said the pardon was a "dream come true."

"Thank God that this day has finally come," he said after being released from a state prison in Pontiac.

Orange, 52, who was condemned after being convicted of four murders in 1985, said he felt "alive" as he walked out of the Cook County Jail on Friday.

"I didn't believe it when I first found out about it," he said. "Thank you with all my heart and soul."

Patterson, 38, said he's "going to do all right" after walking out of the Pontiac prison. He was sentenced to die for the murder of a Chicago couple in 1986.

All four are part of a group of 10 death row prisoners who claim they were tortured into giving confessions under the direction of then-Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge. He was fired after internal police investigators found systemic evidence of physical abuse of suspects.

http://www.cnn.com/2003/LAW/01/11/il...row/index.html
__________________

__________________
Screaming Flower is offline  
Old 01-11-2003, 10:34 PM   #2
Blue Crack Addict
 
deep's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: A far distance down.
Posts: 28,501
Local Time: 12:50 PM
Quote:
i believe governor ryan did the right thing.
__________________

__________________
deep is offline  
Old 01-11-2003, 11:05 PM   #3
BAW
The Flower
 
BAW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: The OC....!!!!
Posts: 11,094
Local Time: 12:50 PM
Re: 'Blanket commutation' empties Illinois death row

Quote:
Originally posted by Screaming Flower
i think it's better to err on the side of caution when dealing with life and death
This is how I feel about it.
__________________
BAW is offline  
Old 01-12-2003, 12:16 AM   #4
Rock n' Roll Doggie
 
ouizy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: s p o r a t i c
Posts: 3,788
Local Time: 03:50 PM
I do not believe any one man should have the power to do what he did.

I am against his decision.
__________________
ouizy is offline  
Old 01-12-2003, 05:06 AM   #5
The Fly
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Memphis, TN, 38104
Posts: 226
Local Time: 08:50 PM

I'm not quite sure how I feel about it. Anyone guilty of child-murder is worthy of the death penalty, though.

It would be nice if the governor had done something else heroic, like boosting funds for teacher-pay.
__________________
bonofnattic is offline  
Old 01-12-2003, 11:43 AM   #6
Blue Crack Supplier
 
Popmartijn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 32,543
Local Time: 09:50 PM
Hello,

I'm against the death penalty, so I think it's good to see these death sentences converted to life imprisonment. However, I partly agree with ouizy, that it is strange a governor has so much power to issue a blanket decision (what if he'd decided everyone on death row should be executed immediately?).
Nevertheless, for the moment no innocent man will be executed by the state of Illinois and legal costs for the state's Justice Department will go down temporarily. So they might also be able to boost funds for teacher-pay.

C ya!

Marty
__________________
Popmartijn is online now  
Old 01-12-2003, 11:55 AM   #7
She's the One
 
martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Orange County and all over the goddamn place
Posts: 42,335
Local Time: 12:50 PM
I agree whole-heartedly, totally, and without any reservation or caveat whatsoever with what the governor did.
__________________
martha is offline  
Old 01-12-2003, 12:01 PM   #8
Blue Crack Addict
 
anitram's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NY
Posts: 16,289
Local Time: 03:50 PM
I agree with him.
__________________
anitram is offline  
Old 01-12-2003, 12:05 PM   #9
ONE
love, blood, life
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 11,961
Local Time: 03:50 PM
Normal

Quote:
Originally posted by Popmartijn
However, I partly agree with ouizy, that it is strange a governor has so much power to issue a blanket decision (what if he'd decided everyone on death row should be executed immediately?)
i will agree with that. i'm not sure how many states allow their governor this power. i was watching the news and they were saying that it will be interesting to see if these states, that do give their governor sole power, attempt to amend their state constitutions.
__________________
Screaming Flower is offline  
Old 01-12-2003, 05:41 PM   #10
The Fly
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Chicago,IL,USA
Posts: 221
Local Time: 08:50 PM
I'm torn on the death penalty issue, so I'm not sure if changing the sentences to life in prison is a good idea or not, but giving those four guys a full pardon is wrong. They were tortued into confessing by police, which is inexcusable, and at least one of the four was given an unfair trial, but their was also alot of legitimate evidence against them. They should have been given new trials instead of full pardons. Gov. Ryan's motives are completely selfish. He's been investigated for a 'license for bribes' scandal for a few years now. He's very unpopular among Democrats and Republicans alike.
__________________
U2fan42 is offline  
Old 01-12-2003, 05:45 PM   #11
ONE
love, blood, life
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 11,961
Local Time: 03:50 PM
gov. ryan is a criminal and i can't stand him, but he started the investigation into the death penalty system before the public realized what an ass he is.
__________________
Screaming Flower is offline  
Old 01-12-2003, 06:41 PM   #12
New Yorker
 
sharky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 2,637
Local Time: 03:50 PM
If you feel Gov. Ryan is wrong, I suggest you look up the Chicago Tribune's death penalty series from 2000 and the case of Anthony Porter.

In 1999, I started my grad program at Northwestern's journalism school shortly after a class of undergraduate students got a stay of execution for Anthony Porter 48 hours before he was supposed to die, investigated the case and not only proved that Anthony wasn't guilty of the crime but also found the man who did commit the crime and have him confess on tape to the murder. Anthony Porter was an innocent man and a group of college students getting no pay were a better defense team for him than the laywer assigned to him and paid for by the state.

Gov. Ryan knows that most of these people are guilty and this was not an easy decision for him to make. But there are no standards for what crime can be tried as a death penalty case. There are no standards for the lawyers assigned to defend these people. There are cases where people have been sentenced to death while their lawyers slept INSIDE the courtroom.

Some of those people on death row may have deserved to die but its better than killing one innocent person just to get some revenge.
__________________
sharky is offline  
Old 01-12-2003, 07:51 PM   #13
She's the One
 
martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Orange County and all over the goddamn place
Posts: 42,335
Local Time: 12:50 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by U2fan42
Gov. Ryan's motives are completely selfish.
What do you know? Many of us don't live in Illinois, so we don't know the politics there.
__________________
martha is offline  
Old 01-12-2003, 08:24 PM   #14
ONE
love, blood, life
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 11,961
Local Time: 03:50 PM
sharky - it must have been amazing to be at northwestern during that time. illinois owes a lot to that school in regards to death penalty reform.

martha - gov. ryan has been and currently is being investigated for a number of scandals. one of the most appalling is the license-for-bribes scandal in which there were state employees selling drivers licenses to around 200 or so truckers in return for bribes. one of the worst results of this was a fatal accident involving a trucker who bought his license in illinois. he ended up killing six children. http://ilcampaign.org/scandal/keydates4-11-02.html

governor ryan has basically been surrounded by scandal most of his term. despite this i believe he made the decision he did based on the recommendations and results of a bi-partisan committee that has been reviewing the death penalty system since 2000.
__________________
Screaming Flower is offline  
Old 01-12-2003, 10:10 PM   #15
Refugee
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Castro Valley, CA
Posts: 997
Local Time: 08:50 PM
Re: 'Blanket commutation' empties Illinois death row

Quote:
Originally posted by Screaming Flower
i'm curious as to everyone's opinion on this story. despite the fact that is very likely that the majority of these inmates are guilty, i believe governor ryan did the right thing. i think it's better to err on the side of caution when dealing with life and death, and illinois' death penalty system was fatally flawed. and these criminals will never be released from prison. however, my heart does truly go out to the victims' families.

...

All four are part of a group of 10 death row prisoners who claim they were tortured into giving confessions under the direction of then-Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge. He was fired after internal police investigators found systemic evidence of physical abuse of suspects.

http://www.cnn.com/2003/LAW/01/11/il...row/index.html
cruel and unusual punishment is against the law in the United States (as is assuming a person is guilty before being tried) and if torture isn't covered in this they need to make an amendment...

do you know how they were tortured? it is so disgusting i can't even write it here.

kind of explains our nonpluss in getting involved in Nicaragua
__________________

__________________
DebbieSG is offline  
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:50 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com