Welcome

Thank you for visiting paducahsun.com, the online home of The Paducah Sun.

Calendar
June 2012
S M T W T F S
27 28 29 30 31 01 02

Click here to submit an event.

DENIAL Ryan unlikely to garner much sympathy for views

George Ryan is dismissive of people who disagree with him about the death penalty. "Americans should come to their senses," he said in a recent newspaper interview.

Unfortunately for Ryan, when it comes to telling Americans how to think about moral issues, he has a credibility problem.

Ryan is an 80-year-old former Illinois governor who is now free to speak after completing five years in prison for corruption and another year of federal supervision after his release. But it's not the fact that he's an ex-con that makes it hard to take his desire to be a reformer seriously. Americans are quick to forgive, under the right circumstances.

But the right circumstances usually involve some measure of repentance, and Ryan shows little of that in recent remarks to reporters. Rather, he called the U.S. justice system "corrupt", and claims he was prosecuted in part because of his efforts as governor to end the death penalty (Ryan imposed a moratorium on the death penalty in Illinois in 2000 and commuted the sentences of all 167 inmates on Illinois' death row two days before leaving office in 2003).

"It put a target on my back when I did what I did," Ryan said. "It certainly didn't win me any favor with the federal authorities."

Ryan also refuses to apologize for the actions that led to his conviction. "I've spent five years in apology," he bristles. "I paid the price they asked me to pay."

Ryan was convicted in 2003 of racketeering, bribery, extortion, money laundering and tax fraud. He was found guilty of steering state contracts and leases to cronies while secretary of state and later governor and receiving vacations and gifts in return. He also was accused of halting a probe of secretary of state employees operating a scheme in which unqualified truck drivers received licenses in return for bribes.

In fact the entire investigation of Ryan began with the probe of an accident in which one of those unqualified truck drivers killed a pastor's wife and six children in a crash in Wisconsin.

At trial, proof also was submitted that Ryan accepted a $3,185 check from a lobbyist to pay for a band that played for his daughter's wedding. His attorneys also stipulated at trial that all five of Ryan's daughters received illegal payments from his campaign fund and did little to no work for the campaign.

Ryan has filed numerous appeals, all of which have upheld his conviction, and continues to assert his actions were not criminal. For someone like that to lecture other Americans about the need to "come to their senses" on the death penalty doesn't hold much sway.

We have our own qualms about the death penalty, although we continue to support it in a few egregious cases. It is a subject that should continue to be weighed and debated. But we think George Ryan's belief that he has the moral authority to be a national leader of that conversation is far-fetched given the road he has chosen.

Comments made about this article - 0 Total

Comment on this article

Your comment has been submitted for approval
captcha 531df6222a1e407ebdcbd0e5bea0fc3f
Top Classifieds
  • FULL blooded healer pups-All shots/wo ... Details
  • Cocker Spaniel Pups.AKC (270)476-2580 ... Details
  • RUNNING, fixable, junk vehicles, equi ... Details
  • Details
  • PILLOWTOP Mattress Sets, NEW in plast ... Details
  • FAIRHURST BLDG.Office space available ... Details
  • Office/Warehouse Updated Office with ... Details
  • 1000 Wayside Dr 4BR, 3.5B $264,900270 ... Details
  • Lake Front Home 3,000 sq. ft., Kuttaw ... Details
  • SEEING is believing! Don't buy p ... Details
  • 1994 Ardmore by Clayton 16x80 Must be ... Details
  • 2,700 SQ. ft. retail/ warehouse/offic ... Details
  • BASEMENT home- 550 Oak Valley Rd - Ma ... Details
  • OPEN HOUSE Saturday/Sunday1-4pm 4BR/4 ... Details
  • 3BR/1BA brick home/3.8 acres, 2424 Gr ... Details
  • 24x44 Mobile Home $3,000/obo Call 270 ... Details
  • AMC SST '72 4 dr. sedan, Onlytw ... Details
  • '07 Honda Goldwing 22K miles, $1 ... Details
  • 19'8" BASS TRACKER PRO - 27 ... Details
  • 2012 Nissan Altima SL Coupe Nice! 28K ... Details
  • 2005 Ford Taurus, 115k miles, exc. co ... Details
This Week In Photos
Most Popular
  1. Purple racer
  2. Book chronicles Paducah's pro baseball history
  3. Election turned on allegations
  1. Father, son die while fishing
  2. Book chronicles Paducah's pro baseball history
  3. Vergara embryo custody fight sees judge allow new lawsuit
  1. Purple racer
  2. Book chronicles Paducah's pro baseball history
  3. Election turned on allegations
Discussion

Check out these recently discussed stories and voice your opinion...