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On Saturday, just 48 hours before his term ended, Illinois- outgoing Governor George Ryan commuted the death sentences of all of his state-s 167 inmates. The 163 men and four women, convicted of 250 murders, will now serve life terms or, in some cases, 40 years in prison. The act is being called the most significant act of its kind since 1972, when the US Supreme Court struck down death penalties nationwide. Many prosecutors and most victims- rights groups are outraged, but abolitionists and reformers are encouraged, hoping the moratoriums will spread. We look at the consequences for Illinois and for the rest of the country with members of the Illinois State Attorney-s Office, the American Bar Association, the victims- rights group Justice for All, and the Innocence Project.
  • Newsmaker: US Offers North Korea Aid to Quit Nuclear Program
    The White House today said the offer of possible energy aid to North Korea does not break a promise by President Bush. The President responded to that country-s ongoing defiance of nuclear nonproliferation agreements with a vow not to -reward bad behavior.- Yet, Paul Richter, who covers the State Department for the Los Angeles Times, says the administration is softening its hard line to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear program.
  • Reporter's Notebook: Keeping Family Together through Prison Walls
    In the past 30 years, the rate of incarceration for young American men has quadrupled, making prison a well-established right of passage and part of the texture of family life for many in the nation-s poorest communities. Adrian LeBlanc, who spent 10 years with a family whose lives have revolved around prison, chronicled their experience in this weekend-s New York Times Magazine and in a new book called Random Family.

Nonproliferation Treaty

State Department-s Bureau of East Asian Affairs

US-NK 1994 Agreed Framework

State of Illinois

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