Madigan Challenges Ryan

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Attorney General Lisa Madigan is challenging some of former Gov. George Ryan's historic decisions to commute the sentences of Illinois death row inmates.

Madigan Wednesday sued the state Corrections Department and 34 inmates who received commutations from Ryan last month.

Madigan is asking the state Supreme Court to rule on those cases. She is challenging the moves for 21 inmates who did not sign petitions seeking clemency.

She also is suing over 16 inmates whose sentences have been overturned and are being currently appealed in lower courts.

Three inmates fall into both categories.

Madigan was joined in the lawsuit by prosecutors from 12 counties in Chicago's suburbs and downstate.

She says it is important for the Supreme Court to address the issue so the Legislature can make improvements to the state's death penalty system.