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Angel of Death Row - My Life as a Death Penalty Defense Lawyer - By Andrea D. Lyon, Kaplan Publishing (2010)
By Reviewed by Lisa B. Kauffman
Book Review columns.
In 1979, Andrea Lyon was a 26-year-old, 6-foot tall, long-haired newbie to the Homicide Task Force at the Cook County Public Defender’s Office in Chicago. What began as a comfortable secular Jewish upbringing in Evanston, Ill., morphed into decades of defending the most marginalized and tragic among us. In over 130 homicide cases, she has defended 30 potential capital cases, defending 19 through the penalty phase. She won all 19. In a white male-dominated office representing the mostly black, male and poor, Andrea Lyon tore through Chicago’s criminal courts with high heels, passion, and humor. For 11 years she fought to keep clients off death row.
In 1990, she founded the Illinois Capital Resource Center, where all her clients were on death row. At that time, 160 inmates in Illinois were condemned to die. By the year 2000, George Ryan, who was governor at the time, made international news when he imposed a moratorium on executions, pending a study by the State. His announcement followed
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