No pardon for Ryan

January 19, 2009 5:24:08 PM PST
There will not be a presidential pardon for former Illinois Governor George Ryan. President Bush handed out pardons to two border patrol agents serving time for a deadly shooting but the word is those are the last pardons.

George Ryan has served just over 15 months of his six-and-a-half year sentence.

"To see a 74-year-old man in jail after he's served a year of his sentence I think accomplishes nothing. So I'm disappointed," said Jim Thompson, former Ill. governor.

Jim Thompson knew clemency for his friend Ryan was a long shot but he said Ryan and his family have been punished enough.

Sen. Dick Durbin made the same argument but he said on Monday if Ryan had any chance at all, it pretty much went away from Rod Blagojevich was arrested.

"I had a conversation with the chief of staff of the president several weeks ago in the midst of the Blagojevich scandal and it was very clear to me that that scandal had an impact on the president's decision," said Durbin.

Ryan is doing his time at the federal prison in Terre Haute. Thompson says he will re-file the request for clemency with the new administration.

"President-elect Obama knows Governor Ryan, he worked with him in Springfield and I think President Obama is a reasonable, merciful man so we'll try again," said Thompson.

Thompson says the Ryan family is "devastated." As for renewing the request for clemency, he says that will be likely filed sometime later this year.

Bush technically has until noon on Tuesday when President-elect Barack Obama is sworn into office to exercise his executive pardon authority. But presidential advisers said Monday that no more are forthcoming.

A petition for clemency was filed on Ryan's behalf weeks ago. During his presidency, Bush has granted 189 pardons and 11 commutations.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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