Distributed April 14, 2003
News Service Contact: Mary Jo Curtis
Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan to speak April 15 on death penalty
The Brown University Lecture Board will welcome former governor of Illinois George Ryan and Lawrence Marshall, the legal director for the Center on Wrongful Convictions, on Tuesday, April 15, 2003, at 7 p.m. in the Salomon Center for Teaching. The pair will speak on the death penalty.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Brown University Lecture Board will host former Illinois Governor George Ryan and Lawrence Marshall, legal director for the Center of Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University, on Tuesday, April 15, 2003, at 7 p.m. in the Salomon Center for Teaching on The College Green.
Ryan will speak on “The Death Penalty: Repair or Repeal?” He and Marshall will then take questions from the audience. The lecture is free and open to all, but seating will be given first to those with a Brown ID. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.
Editors: A limited number of seats will be reserved for the press. Reporters must arrange for credentials by calling Lindsey Murtagh at (401) 867-4968 no later than 1 p.m. on April 15. Seats will be assigned on a first come, first served basis.
Ryan, a Republican who served as governor of Illinois from 1999 to 2003, stirred national debate on the death penalty when he declared a moratorium on executions and commuted the sentences of all of his state’s death row inmates before leaving office.
“Our capital system is haunted by the demon of error,” he said at the time. Ryan’s decision affected more than 150 inmates on death row; he also pardoned four death row inmates after determining they had been coerced into confessing to crimes they did not commit.
As legal director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions, Marshall – a professor of law at Northwestern University Law School – worked closely with Ryan during his tenure as governor. He has represented wrongfully convicted defendants and has sought legislative reform to prevent the conviction of the innocent, including a bill on DNA testing that became law in Illinois in 1997. Marshall serves on the Board of Directors for the Illinois chapter of the ACLU.
For more information, call (401) 867-4968.