FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                              Date: March 3, 2003

         Contact: Donna McCracken, 206-6716


UIS Politics and Policy Series looks at capital punishment reform

SPRINGFIELD A critical discussion of the prospects and need for “Capital Punishment Reform in Illinois after George Ryan” will be presented from 6:45 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 13, in the Studio Theatre, located on the first floor of the Public Affairs Center at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

The program is the third session in UIS’ Politics and Policy Series 2002-2003 and is free and open to the public. The forum will be broadcast live on WUIS (91.9 FM) and taped for later broadcast on Illinois Public Radio and Illinois Public Television. A reception will immediately follow the forum.

Three panelists will give brief presentations, interspersed with audience questions and panel discussion. Christopher Z. Mooney, director of the Institute for Legislative Studies at UIS, will moderate. Panelists and their topics include Thomas Sullivan, co-chair of the 2002 Governor’s Commission on Capital Punishment, “Reform: What Is Needed and Why?”; Kevin Lyons, Peoria County State’s Attorney, “The Prosecutors’ Perspective on Capital Punishment Reform”; and State Representative Mary K. O’Brien (D-Coal City), chair of the House Committee on Judiciary II-Criminal Law, “The Politics of Capital Punishment Reform.”

The Politics and Policy Series presents public forums on important issues currently facing Illinois policymakers and citizens. The series brings together public officials, journalists, and academics to analyze events and share insights and perspectives with more depth and reflection than is sometimes possible in everyday life.

UIS sponsors of the series are the Institute for Legislative Studies, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Center for Governmental Studies, Illinois Issues magazine, and Political Studies Program.

For more information, contact Mooney by phone at (217) 206-6574 or e-mail at, or go to