Skip to comments.Ryan's hope Ex-Gov. Thompson to seek presidential commutation for former governor
Posted on 05/28/2008 9:44:23 PM PDT by endthematrix
The highest court in the land refused to hear his plea. Now only one person can help George Ryan:
» Click to enlarge image Former Gov. Jim Thompson will ask President Bush to commute former Gov. George Ryan's prison sentence. The Supreme Court rejected Ryan's appeal to overturn his conviction on corruption charges on Tuesday. (Sun-Times)
RELATED STORIESComplete Ryan trial coverage Pardon vs. commutation What's the difference between a pardon and a commutation? Pardon: Erases a conviction, such as a felony. Commutation: Conviction stands, but erases prison term, or trades a longer sentence with a shorter one. (Gov. George Ryan commuted sentences for all Death Row inmates, but most of them still served life sentence.) Presidents receive hundreds of requests for pardons and commutations each year. Most are granted just before the president leaves office. President George H.W. Bush granted 74 pardons out of 731 requests and commuted three sentences out of 735 requests. President Bill Clinton granted 396 pardons out of 2,001 requests and granted 61 commutations out of more than 5,400 requests.
After the U.S. Supreme Court turned down the disgraced former governor's request for an appeal, Ryan's lawyer -- former Gov. Jim Thompson -- said he would ask Bush to commute Ryan's 6½-year prison sentence.
"The man has gone from being the governor of the state of Illinois to being a prisoner in the federal penitentiary," Thompson said. "His career is gone. His reputation is gone. His pension for the moment is gone. . . . I think everybody's interests have been served."
Even with time off for good behavior, Ryan, 74, wouldn't get out of prison until he's nearly 80, Thompson said. "I think it would be appropriate for the president of the United States to commute to time served."
If Ryan's sentence were commuted, his conviction would stand, but he would be freed.
Thompson's comments came after the top court declined without comment to take up Ryan's appeal. Ryan was convicted in 2006 of steering state contracts and leases to friends, and, in return, taking cash, gifts and trips. He was also convicted of lying to FBI agents and filing false tax returns.
"It appears that the long legal saga is finally over," said Patrick Collins, the former prosecutor on Ryan's case. "I've never taken any pleasure that George Ryan has to serve an extended prison sentence." But wiping out Ryan's sentence, he said, "would send a terrible message to the public and to the victims of corruption."
Seeking a commuted sentence, rather than a pardon, could improve Ryan's chances, Thompson said. "Asking for a commutation acknowledges the conviction," he said.
Ryan's racketeering conviction included efforts as secretary of state to quash a probe into a highway tragedy that killed six children of the Willis family in 1994. On Tuesday, Willis family attorney Joe Power had little empathy for Ryan.
"He's had over 70 years of a good life which the Willis children have been deprived of," Power said. Power said Republicans have led the call for tougher sentencing.
"Should we give out exceptions now for Republican governors?" Power said.
Erik Ablin, Justice Department spokesman, said a pardon attorney will review the petition and forward a recommendation to the White House.
"The constitutional power lies with the president," Ablin said. "It isn't unusual for the process to take two years or more."
David Yellen, dean at Loyola University of Chicago School of Law, said Ryan might have a shot.
"It's good timing for Gov. Ryan to be asking for something like this now," Yellen said. "Presidents tend to use those powers more when they're on their way out."
Always steal enough to bribe your way out of jail .
Huh? Doesn't even seem close.
There’s Global Crossing and Ullico...
Ex-Governor to Look Into Union Stock Deal
(Fox to guard chicken coop)
The board of Ullico, a union-owned insurance company, has named James R. Thompson, the former Illinois governor, to investigate the private sale of company stock that resulted in big profits for its directors.
For decades, Ullico’s stock price was set at $25, but the stock price soared after Ullico became one of the original investors in Global Crossing, investing $7.6 million. When Global Crossing shares were at their peak, Ullico’s holdings were worth $2.1 billion, almost a dozen times Ullico’s value when the company purchased the Global stock two years earlier.
Conrad Black and three others are on trial for looting their company, Hollinger, of some $80 million; Thompson sat on the board. Here are stories from Bloomberg and the Chicago Tribune.
Thompson told jurors that because he skimmed Hollingers financial statements while running the companys audit committee he didnt notice the questionable payments he approved. I should have read them word for word. I didnt,
This is the same bastard who cleared death row. Let him live in the general pop. with some of the people he commuted until he’s 80. Mutherf#cker.
And should stay gone. The jerk should be billed for court costs also. Ryan's actions were nothing less than a massive betrayal of the public trust.
It seems to me, if there was a single reason to have minimum sentencing laws (which I generally oppose), this would be it. Corrupt 'public servants'? Give 'em ten years minimum--no parole, no club fed.
No freaking way!
I could see commuting the old geezer's sentence in George Ryan truly showed remorse for his actions and broke down in shame. However, Lyin' Ryan remains as unrepentant and arrogant as ever for selling driver's licenses to illegal aliens for bribes. Amazingly, the scumbag even asked the judge to take into account his "service" as a politician to Illinois. It's a good thing the judge based the sentence solely on Ryan's crimes and not his "service" in bankrupting Illinois and freeing every murderer he could find. Lyin' Ryan, like his clone Arnie in California, has done more damage to Illinois than any Democrat governor could dream of.
I hope Bush doesn't seriously considering pardoning this creep in Jan. 2009. Remember GWB, this is the guy who was supposed to "deliver" Illinois to you and instead got the liberal media to attack you for the death penalty. Some "friend"!
In 1994, Rev. Duane "Scott" Willis and wife Janet had six of their nine children die in a fiery crash when a chunk of metal fell from a truck, striking the family's Plymouth Grand Voyager and rupturing the gas tank. The trucker was an unqualified driver (illegal alien) who received his commercial license by bribing an official in then-Secretary of State Ryan's office.
Oh, I almost forgot.
George Ryan Electoral History
1998 - Illinois Governor
George Ryan (R) 51% - ELECTED
Glenn Poshard (D) 47.5%
Lawrence Redmond (Reform) 1.5%
1994 - Illinois Secretary of State
George Ryan (R) 61.5% - ELECTED
Patrick Quinn (D) 38.5%
1990 - Illinois Secretary of State
George Ryan (R) 53.5% - ELECTED
Jerry Cosentino (D) 46.5%
George Ryan had an “R” to his name on the ballot and he was ELECTABLE in Illinois. According to some, that’s the only thing that matters, right? Where’s the “vote RINO” crowd to tell us how much “better” things are thanks to Ryan winning? Imagine what would have happened if “the Democrats” had won those elections!
In 1998, I liked Poshard far more than Ryan. It was obvious at the time that Ryan was a bum.
Yes. The differences are stark and clear. ;-)
Poshard turned out to not be such a prize either after his plagarism was revealed.
Same as we have now...Rod and Rezko!
The families of the victims of those that you took off Death Row want you to rot in hell,Mr Ryan.