Monday, March 28, 2011

Illinois: Ryan. Just Trying to be Nice

The Chicago Sun Times reports tape recordings suggest former Gov. George Ryan "admitted in a recently released court deposition that he 'didn’t understand' the difference between two major types of pardons" granted him by the State Constitution. As the Sun Times explains it, the governor can grant a "general pardon" - "that forgives a crime, but it doesn’t forget it" or an "innocence pardon" - that "erases the crime from an inmate’s record." The latter form of clemency also "allows a person who was wrongly convicted to file a lawsuit and try to seek damages."

Oscar Walden Jr. has sued Chicago for $15 million, claiming police officers physically abused him and forced a confession for a rape. He was granted a general pardon in 1978, but other governors subsequently denied his requests for an innocence pardon, which was eventually granted by Ryan, in 2002. When questioned, under oath, regarding the kinds of pardon he granted this happened:
Ryan’s answer: “I don’t know if there is or not. I learned, though, that Thompson gave a pardon based on whatever — just a general pardon. I didn’t realize that probably until just recently. Then, I gave a pardon based on innocence. Maybe at the time I didn’t understand that. I don’t know.”

Kamionski: “OK. And is that your understanding that both a general pardon and an innocence pardon, they both are given to people who are, in fact, innocent of the crimes that they committed?”

Ryan: “Yeah, I don’t know why else we’d give a pardon if you, as the pardoning agent, didn’t believe that that was the case. I don’t know why you’d give a pardon.”

Kamionski: “And when — and that the only thing that you were doing different with an innocence pardon was giving somebody almost like a right-to-sue letter?”

Ryan: “Well, I didn’t understand that at the time. I think — I thought — it maybe spelled it out more clearly that this was an innocent person that was wrongfully convicted and charged and imprisoned and to make it clear for the record that he was innocent.”
Ryan only granted 212 pardons as governor, and the Times reports that 28 of them were innocence pardons. See full story here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

that is just one more reason Ryan should not get pardon himself, but on the other hand would you have expected anymore, I really did other words-YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR..

blogger templates | Make Money Online