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by Between the Lines' Scott Harris
Saturday, Jan. 25, 2003 at 10:32 AM
firstname.lastname@example.org BETWEEN THE LINES c/o WPKN Radio 89.5 FM Bridgeport, Connecticut
...Capital Punishment. Interview with Bruce Shapiro,co-author of the book "Legal Lynching," conducted by Scott Harris
Mass Commutation of Illinois Death Row Inmates Reframes National Debate on Capital Punishment
Interview with Bruce Shapiro,co-author of the book "Legal Lynching," conducted by Between the Lines' Scott Harris
In his last act as governor of Illinois, George Ryan commuted the death sentences of all 167 individuals on death row. These inmates, sentenced by juries to die, will now serve life sentences without the possibility of parole. Ryan, a conservative Republican, had come into office supporting capital punishment, but after 13 death row inmates were found to have been wrongly convicted, the governor became convinced that the system was deeply flawed and declared a moratorium on executions in 2000. He also formed a commission to investigate the problems in Illinois' death penalty system and make recommendations for reform.
In announcing his historic decision on Jan. 11, Gov. Ryan said, "Because our three-year study has found only more questions about the fairness of sentencing, because of the spectacular failure to reform the system, because we have seen justice delayed for countless death row inmates with potentially meritorious claims, because the Illinois system is arbitrary and capricious -- and therefore immoral -- I no longer shall tinker with the machinery of death."
Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Bruce Shapiro, who co-authored the book, "Legal Lynching: The Death Penalty and America's Future," with the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. and his son, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) Shapiro assesses Gov. Ryan's mass commutation of death row inmates and its impact on the movement to abolish capital punishment.
"Legal Lynching: The Death Penalty and America's Future," is published by Anchor Books.
Death Penalty Information Center www.deathpenaltyinfo.org
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"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
©2003 Between The Lines. All Rights Reserved.
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