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."
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.
August 22, 2007 |
A federal appellate court Tuesday upheld the fraud and corruption conviction of George H. Ryan, a legal blow that puts the former Illinois governor one step closer to serving the 6 1/2 -year prison sentence for his role in a widespread corruption scandal. While his attorneys scrambled to file motions to appeal the 2-1 decision by the U.S.
September 30, 2005 |
Scott Fawell, a longtime political aide to former Illinois Gov. George H. Ryan, began testifying Thursday about how alleged illicit favors and state contracts were handed out under his regime. Prosecutors have charged that while Ryan, a Republican, served as secretary of state and governor from 1991 until early 2003, he and his family accepted tens of thousands of dollars in gifts, cash and other bribes in exchange for state business contracts.
January 12, 2003 |
Gov. George Ryan's bold decision to grant clemency to all 167 inmates on Illinois' death row will intensify scrutiny of whether capital punishment is administered fairly in the United States. Some observers Saturday predicted an immediate backlash could solidify supporters of the death penalty, but in the long term, most expected heightened chances for reforms. "Gov.