Former Ill. Gov. George Ryan Seeks Clemency From Obama
Former Illinois Senator George Ryan, 76, serving a 78 month prison sentence, is seeking clemency (not a pardon) from President Barack Obama.
Lura Lynn Ryan, who has a terminal lung disease, said she is on oxygen 24 hours a day. Ryan, in federal prison in Indiana for more than two years, also has health problems, including kidney disease and infected teeth, said former Gov. Jim Thompson, who is representing Ryan.
..."There's nothing to be gained by keeping him another five years," Thompson said today. "He's already been punished, they are penniless and Mrs. Ryan has a very life-threatening illness. We're not asking for a pardon, just a release."
Ryan also has Crohn's disease and diabetes. The BOP must be paying a small fortune for his medical care. Long term incarceration of non-violent elderly offenders is just another example of our needless over-reliance on incarceration. Alternative sentences are available that would be a much better fit.
As Governor, Ryan emptied Illinois' death row in 2003 due to the large number of wrongful convictions by commuting the sentences of all 167 inmates to life in prison. As I said then:
"Saving the life of an innocent man is far more profound an act of justice than any act of bribery or political misconduct in office can be considered an act of injustice."
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