Until I Could Be Sure

How I Stopped the Death Penalty in Illinois
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
  • erschienen am 18. September 2020
  • |
  • 240 Seiten
E-Book | ePUB mit Adobe-DRM | Systemvoraussetzungen
978-1-5381-3455-9 (ISBN)
In January 2000, Illinois Governor George Ryan declared a moratorium on executions-the first such action by any governor in the history of the United States. Despite a long history as a death penalty proponent, Ryan was emotionally moved after allowing an execution in 1999. He was also profoundly disturbed by the state's history-12 men had been executed and 13 had been exonerated since the return of the death penalty in Illinois in 1977. More had been proven innocent than had been executed. Three years later, in 2003, Ryan pardoned four death row inmates based on their actual innocence and then commuted the death sentences of 167 men and women. This was the largest death row commutation in U.S. history. At that time, 12 states and the District of Columbia barred the death penalty. His actions breathed new life into the movement to abolish the death penalty in the United States. Over the next 15 years, Illinois and seven other states would abolish the death penalty-New Jersey, Maryland, New Mexico, Connecticut, Delaware, New York and Washington. Today, the push to reform the criminal justice system has never been stronger in America, a nation that incarcerates more men and women than any other country in the world and also wrongfully convicts hundreds of men and women. Although the number of executions carried out every year continues to drop in the U.S., the death penalty still exists in 31 states. Moreover, in some non-death penalty states, factions seek to reinstate it. Until I Could Be Sure: How I Stopped the Death Penalty in Illinois is, in his own words, the story of George Ryan's journey from death penalty proponent to death penalty opponent. His story continues to resonate today. He defied the political winds and endured the fury and agony of the families of the victims and the condemned as well as politicians, prosecutors and law enforcement. It is a story of courage and faith. It is a timely reminder of the heroic acts of a Republican Governor who was moved by conscience, his faith and a disturbing factual record of death row exonerations.
  • Englisch
  • Blue Ridge Summit
  • |
  • USA
  • 2,60 MB
978-1-5381-3455-9 (9781538134559)
weitere Ausgaben werden ermittelt
By George H. Ryan Sr. - With Maurice Possley - Foreword by Scott Turow
  • Intro
  • Contents
  • Acknowledgments
  • Foreword
  • 1 The Beginning
  • 2 Machinery of Death
  • 3 The Face of Death Row
  • 4 A Human Face
  • 5 Execution on Deck
  • 6 Debating Death
  • 7 The Execution
  • 8 Another Exoneration
  • 9 Systemic Failure
  • 10 Close to Home
  • 11 Time to Act
  • 12 Lighting the Colosseum
  • 13 Politics of Death
  • 14 Emotions Flare
  • 15 Africa Beckons
  • 16 International Acclaim
  • 17 Death Marches On
  • 18 Death Row Expands
  • 19 Pondering Abolition
  • 20 End of an Era
  • 21 Critics Everywhere
  • 22 A New Wrinkle
  • 23 History Lesson
  • 24 Call for Change
  • 25 Get Me a Wheelchair
  • 26 All Talk, No Action
  • 27 Raising the Volume
  • 28 Rising Pressure
  • 29 Wrong Is Wrong
  • 30 March for Life
  • 31 Picking and Choosing
  • 32 A Matter of Conscience
  • 33 Commutation
  • 34 Reform at Last
  • Epilogue
  • Index
  • About the Authors

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