Durbin Asks President Bush to Commute Ryan's Sentence
By Marcus Gilmer in News on Dec 1, 2008 10:07PM
Illinois Senator Dick Durbin sent a letter to President Bush today asking for Bush to commute former governor George Ryan's sentence. Ryan was convicted in 2006 of fraud, racketeering, and other corruption charges. So far, he has served a little over a year of a 6 and-a-half year sentence. Durbin has expressed concern for the health of the former governor and his wife. While prosecutors have come out against any pardon or commutation, Ryan has allegedly expressed remorse over his actions. In the letter to Bush, Durbin says:
George Ryan is 74 years old. He has lost his state pension benefits and a commutation will not restore them. He would emerge from prison facing economic uncertainty at an advanced stage of his life.Read the entire letter here [PDF].
For those who would argue that a commutation makes light of his crimes, it is clear that he has already paid a significant price and will continue to do so as long as he lives. Justice is a sword that should be tempered with compassion. Further imprisonment will not, in my opinion, serve the ends of justice.