President Obama is being pressured to grant former Illinois governor George Ryan an early release from prison due to the terminal illness of his wife. A federal jury convicted Ryan in April 2006 on fraud and racketeering charges and he was sentenced to serve 6 1/2 years in prison.
The ex-governor’s wife, Lura Lynn Ryan, 75, has a terminal lung disease, and is on oxygen 24 hours a day. Ryan, in an Indiana federal prison for more than two years, has health problems of his own, including kidney disease and infected teeth.
Another former Illinois governor and now Ryan’s attorney, Jim Thompson, has said that George Ryan has been punished enough, and that there’s really nothing to be gained by keeping him for his entire sentence (scheduled to be released in 2013). According to Thompson, the Ryan’s are penniless. And one of the reasons Ryan supporters give for his early release is “it’s not like he committed murder or anything.”
In January 2003, George Ryan cleared out Illinois’ death row, commuting the death sentences of more than 160 inmates to life sentences. He was later nominated for the Nobel Peace prize.
Considering all things, do you think George Ryan should be released early? Why or why not?
photo of George Ryan – Wikipedia.org