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Illinois Gov. Rules Out Clemency

October 22, 2002

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ Gov. George Ryan said Tuesday that he has ``pretty much ruled out″ granting blanket clemency to Illinois’ death row inmates.

``That doesn’t mean I won’t do it, but I’ve pretty much decided that it’s not an option I’m going to exercise,″ he said.

As Ryan spoke, the Illinois Prisoner Review Board was in its second week of clemency hearings for nearly every inmate on death row. The board was flooded with clemency petitions for 142 of the 160 death row inmates after the governor said earlier this year that he might commute all death sentences to life without parole.

Ryan said his main concern is to make sure no innocent person is executed.

The unprecedented hearings come more than two years after Ryan suspended all executions in Illinois, citing the wrongful convictions of 13 death row inmates.

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