Eric Hanson - IL

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Eric Hanson - IL

Post  Jennie on Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:05 pm

14th July 2008



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Re: Eric Hanson - IL

Post  Jennie on Wed Jul 30, 2008 3:52 pm

Moratorium saves Hanson


July 14, 2008

By Jennifer Golz jgolz@scn1.com
Convicted killer Eric Hanson was set to die by lethal injection today.

But he is still alive, as the moratorium former Gov. George Ryan declared on state-sanctioned executions in 2000 remains in effect.

“Eric knew this date really would have very little meaning,” DuPage County Public Defender Robert Miller said.

Miller represented Hanson during the six-week trial earlier this year, in which a jury convicted and sentenced him to death for the Sept. 28, 2005, murders of four family members.

Hanson, 31, shot his parents, Mary and Terrance Hanson, while they slept in their Naperville home. In an attempt to conceal the crime at the home he shared with his parents, Hanson moved their bodies to his sister’s upscale Aurora home after bludgeoning Kate and Jimmy Tsao earlier that evening.

Hanson was the 14th man sent to death row since Ryan, two years after imposing the moratorium, commuted the sentences of 167 death row inmates to life in prison.

“When the case was in court, I think Eric focused on his goal of being found not guilty,” Miller said. “Now that he’s received the death penalty, I expect he is focusing on a successful appeal.”

Although no longer his counsel – all death penalty cases receive an automatic appeal to the Supreme Court where Hanson will be represented by an Illinois Appellate Defender – Hanson has maintained contact with Miller.

“Eric has tried to call me in the last couple of weeks and I’ve gotten the messages but I haven’t been at my desk,” Miller said. “I’m glad to see he’s trying to call me.

“I think Eric is trying to look toward the light and not focus on what could happen should the moratorium be lifted,” he said.

The moratorium can only be lifted by gubernatorial order – something unlikely to occur under the current term of Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

“The governor plans to keep the moratorium in place until he is confident there is no chance an innocent person will be put to death,” Blagojevich spokesman Brian Williamsen said.

At the time the moratorium was imposed, Ryan exonerated 13 wrongfully convicted men and called for a commission to study the issue – the first of 38 states that allowed for capital punishment to do so.

Like those whose sentences were commuted, Hanson will serve a life-in-prison sentence if the moratorium is never lifted.

Hanson and the 13 other men in the condemned unit at the Pontiac Correctional Center, about 80 miles south of Naperville, spend 23 hours a day in their cells where they also take their meals and are allowed one hour of recreation time each day, according to Illinois Department of Corrections spokesman Derek Schnapp.

(Source: http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/napervillesun/news/1055400,na14_hansonweb_s1.article)
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