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Media Contacts

George Vlahakis
IU Media Relations
888-514-3889 (pager)

Joseph Hoffmann
IU School of Law
812-325-6791 (cell)

Last modified: Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Media advisory

Author of death penalty legislation available for interviews

Editors: One of the most important issues on the public agenda during these final weeks of Illinois Gov. George H. Ryan's tenure is the future of Illinois death penalty law. On Tuesday (Dec. 3), the Illinois Senate will consider a package of death penalty reforms including the "Fundamental Justice Amendment," a proposal that was introduced by Sen. Peter Roskam (R - Wheaton) on Nov. 20.

This amendment would be the first of its kind in the United States. It is likely to be at the center of the capital punishment debate in the Illinois legislature next week, which the nation will be watching.

The amendment would grant to the Illinois Supreme Court the authority to reverse any death sentence, and substitute a life sentence, if the Court finds that the death sentence is "fundamentally unjust" in terms of the facts and circumstances of the case.

Joseph L. Hoffmann, a professor at the Indiana University School of Law-Bloomington, was directly involved in the drafting of the "Fundamental Justice Amendment." He would be glad to speak with reporters about the amendment and present the case for its adoption.

During the next few days, including Thanksgiving Day, he can be reached at the following cell phone number: 812-325-6791,or via e-mail at He also has written a short opinion column and would be glad to share it with you and your publications.