George Ryan, the governor of Illinois, the nations first governor to declare a moratorium on capital punishment will be speaking to an audience of Southern California Judges and lawyers next Thursday about his reasons for stopping the death penalty in Illinois.
The April 5 meeting of the Malibu Bar Association is being held at the Mission Club (the recently renovated old Malibu Court-house on PCH) and is open to the public.
Ryan, a Republican, declared moratorium last year on executions in Illinois after a series of articles by a Chicago Tribune investigative reporting team (www.chicagotribune.com/news/metro/chicago/ws/1,,49183,00.html), and a study
by Northwestern University’s law and journalism schools (Illinoisdeathpenalty.com), showed major irregularities in Illinois’ death-penalty.
The investigations raised serious questions about whether innocent people were being convicted because since the reinstatement of the death penalty in Illinois, 13 people on death row have been exonerated and 12 others have been executed.
Ryan, who supports the death penalty, decided in a very controversial and highly courageous move that he would stop executions until a special commission he empanelled finishes its investigation and announces its findings. In the interim, the governor has said that “Until I can be sure that everyone sentenced to death in Illinois is truly guilty, until I can be sure to a moral certainty that no innocent person is facing a lethal
injection, no one will meet that fate.”
Call the Malibu Bar Association at 589.9662 for reservations. Because a large turnout of judges and lawyers is expected, reservations are a must. It is possible there may be no tickets left by the evening of the event.