Ill. Agreement Clears Way For Death Penalty Reform


Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and Senate President Emil Jones have agreed on a compromise that will clear the way for a sweeping death-penalty reform package to move forward in the legislature’s fall veto session, the Chicago Tribune says.

The deal addresses the governor’s concerns that police officers accused of perjury in murder cases could lose their badge without adequate due process, and Jones’ desire to ensure that officers who lie are removed. Blagojevich hailed the package for overhauling a system “broken and in desperate need of reform.” The provision the governor vetoed would have empowered a state board composed largely of police officials to investigate accusations of police lying in homicide cases.

Under the compromise, the finding would be left up to the state Labor Relations Board, a five-member panel that Blagojevich recently loaded with members having ties to organized labor.

The reform package ranks as a significant legislative achievement after years of study and debate started by then-Gov. George Ryan in January 2000.


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