May 22, 2002 |
A close friend of Gov. George Ryan was indicted Tuesday on charges of shaking down state vendors for $2.8 million and sharing the cash with a powerful lobbyist and an unidentified state official. "For the better part of a decade, when it came to contracts and leases with the secretary of state's office, the fix was in," U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald told the media. He said the "fixer" was Lawrence Warner, 62, a longtime friend of the governor.
September 7, 2006 |
Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan, who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize after placing a moratorium on executions, was sentenced Wednesday to 6 1/2 years in prison for his part in a widespread corruption scandal. Before hearing the sentence, Ryan acknowledged that he had failed the public and his family, and that his poor health could mean he would die behind bars.
January 14, 2003
Re "Illinois Governor Commutes All Death Row Cases," Jan. 12: Hooray for Gov. George Ryan! When appeals came to him, he read all of the court records and he interviewed the prosecutors, the defense attorneys and the police who were involved. He agonized, he prayed and, in the end, he found the system so flawed that he could not bring himself to condemn anyone on death row. The only part of the system that worked in Illinois was Gov. Ryan. The death row inmates who were previously found to be innocent and were released were not discovered by prosecutors, police or appeals courts but by college students and others outside the system.
January 18, 2003
Re "After Blanket Clemency, Illinois Struggles to Assess Its Effects," Jan. 13: In all the coverage of former Illinois Gov. George Ryan's historic actions on the death penalty, nearly every report has failed to emphasize that the 167 death sentences were commuted to a life sentence without possibility of parole. Death row was "emptied," yes -- but maximum security was not. With LWOP (life without parole), society is quietly and effectively protected from convicted killers, with no politician having the power to pick who lives and who dies.
August 9, 2001 |
Illinois Gov. George Ryan, hobbled by a years-old bribery scandal, announced Wednesday he would not seek a second term, a move that state Republican leaders hope will help their chances of keeping control of governorships nationwide in the next few years.
November 18, 2006 |
Standing before a crowded auditorium Friday at DePaul University, former Illinois Gov. George Ryan shook hands with Madison Hobley -- a death row prisoner exonerated by the Republican leader in 2003. But while Hobley is now a free man, Ryan is heading to prison. In January, he is scheduled to begin a 6 1/2 year federal term for his part in a corruption scandal. "People say that the death penalty deters crime," said Ryan, 72. "I don't believe that. And I don't believe most people believe that."
March 5, 2002 |
Illinois Gov. George Ryan said he is considering whether to commute the sentences of all 163 inmates on the state's death row. The moderate Republican acknowledged the possibility during a recent symposium, a disclosure that adds to this state's roiling debate over the death penalty. It comes as an Illinois commission he appointed is poised to release recommendations on what to do about the state's death penalty. The 68-year-old governor imposed a moratorium on executions in January 2000.
September 29, 2005 |
Former Illinois Gov. George H. Ryan's corruption trial got underway Wednesday, with federal prosecutors painting him as an arrogant politician who lived extravagantly and blithely doled out millions of taxpayer dollars to his friends and family. "George Ryan lived large ... and the money flowed," Assistant U.S. Atty. Zachary Fardon told the jury during his 90-minute opening statement. "This is a case about betrayal of the public trust."
January 12, 2003 |
Those who had been visiting grave sites all these years spoke angrily of injustice. So did those who had been visiting death row. Those who had lost a daughter, a mother, a sister to murder spoke bitterly of their world ripped apart. So did those who lost a son, a father, a brother to death row. Gov. George Ryan's announcement Saturday that he would empty Illinois' death row, commuting most capital sentences to life in prison without parole, evoked elation and fury, apprehension and hope.
October 26, 2007 |
A federal appellate court Thursday refused to rehear an appeal of the fraud and corruption conviction of George H. Ryan, a legal blow that has the former Illinois governor set to start serving a 6 1/2-year prison sentence. His attorneys, claiming the jury process was flawed, began the process of petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case. They said their immediate concern was to keep the 73-year-old free on bail.