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Daily Journal
     February 19, 2021      #83-50 KDJ

Death penalty doesn't purge anyone's pain 

SPRINGFIELD — I once spent Valentine’s Day on Illinois’ death row.

This week, I couldn’t help thinking about the strangest Valentine’s experience I’ve ever had. I spent Feb. 14, 2000, in the death row visitor’s room at the Pontiac Correctional Center.

I was there to interview a mentally-ill death row inmate who had become lost in the system. His schizophrenia had incapacitated him to such a degree that he couldn’t assist with his appeals.

When making arrangements for the interview, I hadn’t thought about it being Valentine’s Day. ...

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