Ill. Court Refuses Clemency Case
Oct. 12, 2002
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ The Illinois Supreme Court has refused to consider a lawsuit challenging Gov. George Ryan's authority to commute some death row sentences.
Attorney General Jim Ryan had contested the governor's authority to commute death sentences for 31 inmates who either didn't sign clemency petitions or who have had their death sentences overturned.
Jim Ryan spokeswoman Lori Bolas said the attorney general is considering other legal options, which could mean filing the lawsuit in circuit court.
``The court declined to hear the case,'' Bolas said Friday. ``They did not decide the case.''
Jim Ryan filed two lawsuits last month against the state Prisoner Review Board's upcoming clemency hearings for more than 130 inmates on death row.
Jim Ryan also sued over the board's proposed 30-minute time limit for each hearing. That lawsuit was dismissed Thursday by a Sangamon County judge.
The board is scheduled to conduct the hearings next week. It will then forward confidential recommendations to the governor, who is retiring in January.
George Ryan spokesman Dennis Culloton said the governor was pleased with the decision.
``These are important constitutional powers for the governor to act in the interest of justice,'' Culloton said.