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George Ryan

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.
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 | P.J. Huffstutter, Times Staff Writer
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."
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.
October 26, 2007 | P.J. Huffstutter, Times Staff Writer
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.
January 12, 2003 | Henry Weinstein, Times Staff Writer
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.
November 8, 2002 | Eric Slater, Times Staff Writer
When the death penalty finally had a name, Andrew Kokoraleis, and a face, squared-jawed and olive-skinned, George Ryan's nearly three decades of preparation deserted him. The Illinois governor had been in politics most of his adult life, and as a legislator had voted to reinstate capital punishment.
March 21, 2006 | P.J. Huffstutter, Times Staff Writer
In the buildup to today's Republican primary election for governor in Illinois, it has been all but impossible to ignore the campaign bluster over the George H. Ryan factor. Judy Baar Topinka, the state treasurer and onetime leader of the Illinois Republican Party, is leading the polls in the five-way fight and is seen as the party's best chance to unseat incumbent Democrat Rod Blagojevich.
November 15, 2013 | By Amy Kaufman
NEW YORK - She knew they were waiting to hear from her - Channing Tatum's millions of fans. It had been more than an hour since LaQuishe Wright had posted a photo of the actor on his Twitter account, dressed in a suit "Headed to the Zeigfield. " Now she and Tatum had arrived at the "White House Down" premiere, and Wright needed to give his followers another update. So as he began walking down the red carpet, posing for photographs and greeting reporters, she stayed close by. Glued to her iPhone, she was barely noticeable among the melee, a diminutive 38-year-old in an airy halter dress flanked by hulking bodyguards, publicists, studio handlers.
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