Illinois Governor Rod R. Blagojevich took office two days after George Ryan, his predecessor, cleared death row in January 2003.
After legislative reforms, lawmakers and prosecutors want Blagojevick to reinstate the death penalty, The New York Times reports. Death penalty opponents say the system, while improved, is not good enough to ensure that the state will not execute an innocent person.
Blagojevich, a former prosecutor who has supported the death penalty in the past, says he is not in a hurry to move forward and that a statewide moratorium on executions – put in place four years ago by Mr. Ryan – stands. But he has begun facing pressure from both sides.