Former Gov. George Ryan, 74, stood defiantly in front of his Kankakee home Tuesday night in the chilly air and declared his innocence after his last bid to stay out of prison failed.The statement I placed in bold was very much I thought an insulting remark. I'm sure a lot people feel that way in light of what he did as an elected official in Illinois. I'm sure the Willis family aren't too pleased with him right now.
"I will report to the federal corrections facility in Oxford, Wisconsin, as ordered . . . but I do so with a clear conscience and I have said since the beginning of this 10-year ordeal that I'm innocent and I intend to prove it."
Ryan gained worldwide attention for emptying Illinois' Death Row in his last days in office, and he signaled a kinship Tuesday night with the allegedly wrongfully accused prisoners of the world.
"I've been fortunate to have at my disposal the finest legal team in the country in Winston & Strawn," Ryan said, surrounded by his family. "However, there are many less fortunate, with fewer means than I have, still fighting for justice."
Ryan has enjoyed an extraordinary run of postponements of his prison date in the year and a half since he was convicted of fraud for diverting state money and contracts to his family and friends, including co-defendant Larry Warner, who is to report to prison in Colorado today.
Now the only reason he's trying to use these stall tactics up to about prison D-Day to get a new trial because he felt that the last trial wasn't fair or impartial. That's fine but in most of the appeals he's filed it's been noted that the evidence of his guilt was overwhelming. So most of the judges who oversee his appeals think he's guilty.
I can always look at it this way and I think former Governor Edgar was correct when he said that most of the people around him did him in. Unfortunately former Governor Ryan did himself in by not getting rid of the dead weight and that's largely assuming that he didn't take part in the graft and corruption for which he is to report to federal custody in Oxford, Wisconsin.
So in clearing death row of inmates and working on Illinois' transportation infrastructure has all come for naught because Ryan continued to maintain some corrupt practices. Or he continued to retain corrupt people around him. I don't know if I should feel sorry for him or not right now.