Thompson: Commutations not based on politics

December 11, 2008 11:37:59 AM PST
Former Governor Jim Thompson said he hopes President Bush will ignore the Gov. Rod Blagojevich scandal and set former Gov. George Ryan free."I don't think presidential commutations are based on politics," said Thompson, while talking to ABC7 Chicago Wednesday. "So I hope the president focuses on the Ryan case and confines himself to that."

Thompson's law firm represented Gov. Blagojevich until they parted ways six weeks ago. Thompson said he knew nothing about the impending arrest. Nor does he feel it will in anyway impact Ryan's chances of commutation.

"I have faith in the president to do the right thing, to look at Ryan's case, his age and health and apart from things that got him in trouble he did a lot of good for the state," said Thompson.

Ryan was convicted of corruption in 2006 for steering state contracts and leases to political insiders and helping cover up bribes paid in return for truck drivers licenses. He has served more than a year of his 6 1/2-year prison term.

However, on Thursday, Thompson told the Associated Press that he is beginning to believe the Blagojevich scandal will affect the commutation more than he initially thought.


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