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Illinois’ Death Penalty Chronology

January 10, 2003

A timeline of Gov. George Ryan’s efforts to reform Illinois’ capital punishment system.

_Jan. 31, 2000: Ryan declares a moratorium on executions after 13 men were freed from Illinois’ death row because new evidence exonerated them or there were flaws in the way they were convicted.

_March 9, 2000: Ryan launches a new commission on capital punishment to study Illinois’ death penalty system and recommend reforms.

_April 15, 2002: The panel commissioned by Ryan to study Illinois’ death penalty system proposes dozens of reforms and says capital punishment should be abolished if the reforms can’t be enacted.

_Oct. 15, 2002: The state begins a marathon series of clemency hearings for nearly every prisoner on death row.

_Dec. 19, 2002: Ryan pardons three men wrongfully convicted of murder, Rolando Cruz, Gary Gauger and Steven Linscott.

_ Jan. 10, 2003: Ryan pardons Madison Hobley, Stanley Howard, Aaron Patterson and Leroy Orange, saying Chicago police tortured the men into confessing to murders they didn’t commit.

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