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updated: 4/26/2013 5:51 PM

Former Illinois chief justice dies

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  • Moses Harrison

      Moses Harrison

Associated Press

The Illinois Supreme Court has announced the death at age 81 of former Chief Justice Moses Harrison.

Harrison died Thursday at a St. Louis hospital. The cause of death wasn't immediately revealed.

Harrison began his career on the bench in 1973 as a circuit court judge. He was serving on the 5th District Appellate Court when he was elected to the Supreme Court in 1992. He served as chief justice from 2000 to 2002.

Harrison perhaps is best known for a dissenting opinion in the death penalty case People v. Bull in November 1998. Harrison urged abolition of the death penalty, fearing an innocent will eventually be put to death. Illinois' death penalty was abolished in 2011.

Chief Justice Thomas Kilbride said Friday that Harrison's fundamental decency guided his career.

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