Lethal injection legal on death row

Another in the endless constitutional battles surrounding the death penalty has been resolved, sort of, by the U.S. Supreme Court.

In a strong-but-still-fractured opinion this week on the propriety of the death penalty, the U.S. Supreme Court came to a rather obvious conclusion: lethal injection of condemned murderers does not violate the Constitution's ban on "cruel and unusual punishment."

Bad manners in Illinois Senate

One Democratic senator called it a "circus," but that implies it was light-hearted. The display last week in Springfield by Democratic members of the Senate Executive Committee was shameful.

For more than a century the U.S. Senate has been known as "the world's greatest deliberative body."

Clemency files should be public

The Blagojevich administration is acting like too many other governmental entities in Illinois – citing some vague right to privacy – in order to keep the public from seeing records that in the past have been public.

All of a sudden the Blagojevich administration has become squeamish about providing information about dozens of pardons the governor has provided to persons convicted of crimes in Illinois.

No exceptions to an open forum

As long as Urbana continues to provide an open forum on its public access broadcast channel, it must be open to all.

Members of the Urbana City Council are wrestling with the vexing question of whether to continue their anything-goes policy for the city's public access broadcast channel, even if it means running programs that target particular groups with bigoted attacks.

Service day appropriate way to remember Austin Cloyd

Volunteers are encouraged to join Champaign Centennial's Interact Club this Saturday as it organizes an Austin Cloyd Service Day, honoring the former Centennial student who died a year ago in the Virginia Tech shootings.

Austin Cloyd was, by all accounts, a bright and gifted young woman. But more than anything else this young woman, among the 33 victims of a shooting rampage at Virginia Tech a year ago, was an activist, committed to working individually and with groups to help others.

'Atkins site' best location for new Unit 4 school

There's no perfect choice among the three options for a new Champaign elementary school, but a location adjacent to the Dobbins Downs subdivision is the best.

In its long and so-far futile effort to meet a requirement of a federal court consent decree – to find a way to add two strands of elementary classes in a school building or buildings north of University Avenue – it appears the Champaign school board is still left with three imperfect choices.

Lodge giveaway request should be a nonstarter

Let's not compound the financial loss to taxpayers that surrounds the Lone Star Lodge building by giving it away.

How much money can Champaign taxpayers lose on one building?

Facts don't support tax claims

Government statistics belie the claim that high-earners get a pass from the Internal Revenue Service.

Nothing quite focuses the public's attention on government tax and spending policies as April 15, the filing deadline for state and federal income tax forms.

Ambitious Campustown makeover in the works

Campustown looks a lot different than it did 10 years ago. In another 10 years, it will be have undergone another face lift.

There is not much suspense about what a municipal advisory committee will do Wednesday when it meets to consider a proposed 10-year action plan to spruce up the Campustown area in Champaign.

House Democrats' "no-guts" tax increase

Illinois Democrats, who have overspent so badly in recent years that the state budget is at least $750 million in the hole, last week tried to set it up so that voters, not them, would have to approve a $3 billion tax increase.

That was some trick last week by Illinois House Democrats, including most downstaters, who gamed the parliamentary system so that they could get a roll call vote on a constitutional amendment to essentially "soak the rich."