ARTICLE: THE ILLINOIS DEATH PENALTY: WHAT WENT WRONG? Skip over navigation
LexisNexis® Browse Law Reviews and Treatises
Skip over navigation
Sign in with your lexis.com® ID to access the full text of this article.
-OR-
Order the full text of this article if you do not have a lexis.com® ID.
 
Price: 
US $22.00 (+ tax)
 
 

Copyright (c) 2001 The John Marshall Law School
The John Marshall Law Review

ARTICLE: THE ILLINOIS DEATH PENALTY: WHAT WENT WRONG?

Winter, 2001

34 J. Marshall L. Rev. 409

Author

Marshall J. Hartman and Stephen L. Richards*

Excerpt

Introduction
 
A citizen of Illinois who had been measured for his coffin and was within two days of execution is proven innocent of the murders for which he had been convicted and sentenced to death. Twelve other men, also convicted and sentenced to death in Illinois, are similarly exonerated, declared innocent, and set free. The belief of the complacent in the efficacy of the criminal justice system is shattered by revelations of police torture, prosecutorial misconduct, and ineffectiveness of defense counsel. This is Illinois in the year 2001, and the whole world is watching.

And Illinois is not unique, particularly with respect to the percentage of reversals and other relief granted to defendants under a sentence of death. Indeed, according to a recent survey by Professor James S. Liebman, and his colleagues at Columbia University, the rate of reversible error for Illinois capital cases from 1973 to 1995 was 66%. 1 The national error rate for the comparable period was 68%. 2 In contrast, the national serious error rate for non-capital cases during the comparable period was 15%. 3

Notwithstanding the high serious reversible error rate, the number of executions in this country has risen sharply over the years. From 1984 to 1991, an average of fifteen men and women were executed annually. 4 Between 1992 and 1994, the number rose to twenty seven a year, and to fifty three a year from 1994 to 1998. 5 In 1999, the number rose to eighty eight. 6
 
 
If you are interested in obtaining a lexis.com® ID and Password, please contact us at 1-(800)-227-4908 or visit us at http://www.lexisnexis.com/.
Search Documents
 
eg., Environmental Insurance Coverage Under the Comprehensive General Liability Policy
 
 
 
 

Lexis® Web - The only search engine that delivers free web content specifically from legal sites validated by LexisNexis® attorney editors and includes tools for faster research and more relevant results.

 
LexisNexis Store
Research Now - Go to lexis.com
Connect the Dots - Free 1 hour webcast
Share. Network. Discover. - Go to LexisNexis Communities