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Compromise in Ill. Senate over Death Penalty Reforms

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(KWMU File photo)

By AP/KWMU

Springfield, Ill. – Illinois state Senators came to a compromise on a death-penalty reform measure Tuesday. At issue was a provision that Governor Rod Blagojevich took out of the measure this summer over how to punish police officers who lie on the witness stand in murder cases.

The deal reached yesterday allows judges to determine whether there should be a hearing on perjury. Police groups had said it's unfair to decertify officers if suspects aren't convicted; but the deal reached Tuesday means they still could lose their badges if they lie and the suspect isn't convicted.

The measure aims to fix flaws in the capital punishment system. Seventeen condemned men have been freed for wrongful convictions.

Blagojevich says he will sign the measure if police groups approve.

But even if the reforms are made, that does not guarantee Gov. Rod Blagojevich will lift the current moratorium on executions in the state.

To hear a report from Illinois Public Radio's Bill Wheelhouse on that issue, click here --->

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