Illinois' capital punishment system is under the microscope as the state begins clemency hearings for almost every inmate on death row.
It was the first of nine days of testimony for 140 of the 160 people now sentenced to death.
The first of the hearings was for a Chicago man convicted of killing children.
After the hearing, it was made clear it will be unacceptable if Gov. George Ryan grants blanket clemency in all death row cases.
In early 2000, Ryan put a moratorium on executions, citing numerous examples of errors in the system. Ryan calls the process deeply flawed, pointing to 13 cases in which innocent people were wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death.