Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Watch List: Ryan Release, But No Pardon

Inmate 16627-424, also known as the seventy-eight year old former Governor of Illinois, George Ryan (convicted of racketeering, conspiracy, tax fraud and making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation), will be released from the federal prison at Terre Haute, Indiana tomorrow after serving six years of a six-and-a-half year prison sentence. Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich still has thirteen more years to serve on his own prison sentence.

Ryan's conviction was affirmed by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. He entered prison stubbornly claiming innocence and petitioned behind the scenes for a presidential pardon from George W. Bush. When all such efforts failed, Ryan issued a formal, and largely cryptic "apology," in hopes that it would confused with a sincere and outright admission of guilt. But, the effort added nothing to his search for clemency. Finally, Ryan sought a commutation of sentence on the grounds of health problems and the desire to be with his dying wife. It was too little too late. See our previous posts on Ryan here. See recent media reports here and here.

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