|Death Penalty Foes March to Chicago|
|By Associated Press|
Former death row prisoners took part Monday in a 37-mile relay walk from a state correctional center near Joliet to downtown Chicago, the latest in two days of activities designed to call attention to flaws in the state's capital punishment system.
About 30 former inmates, each marching a separate leg of the trip with sympathizers, carried a letter that was later delivered to Gov. George Ryan, who is considering clemency petitions of more than 140 death row inmates.
The letter urges Ryan to commute all death sentences to life in prison without parole.
'The key here is to recognize the human cost of the system that is broken,' said Lawrence Marshall, a law professor at the Northwestern University School of Law and legal director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions. 'These are people who were all sentenced to die because the system was completely certain that they were guilty.'
Marshall walked the first leg of the relay. Seven former death row inmates from Illinois also marched, as well as ex-prisoners from other states including Florida, Louisiana, Texas and New Mexico.
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