Monday, August 6, 2012

EXTRA: “Independence” Day for George Ryan remains July 4, 2013

It seems the dreams of former Gov. George Ryan to get released from prison some time in coming weeks isn’t going to happen.
RYAN: Still waiting for freedom

For a judicial panel of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday issued a ruling rejecting the claims of Ryan’s attorneys that some of his criminal convictions should be thrown out – reducing the length of his prison term to time served.

INSTEAD, HIS FULL 6 1/2- year prison term remains in place – the one that has him scheduled for release on Independence Day next year. Although come January, he could petition for release from the work camp near the maximum-security prison at Terre Haute, Ind., to a half-way house somewhere closer to home.

It may sound like Ryan has already done the bulk of his prison time, and should be mentally strong enough to get through the just over 10 months of incarceration he still “owes” to the Bureau of Prisons.

This probably was the last-ditch effort for Ryan to get some time knocked off his prison term. While he can (and probably will) appeal Monday’s ruling to the Supreme Court of the United States, that court is not obligated to hear the case.

Even if they do, who’s to say how quickly they’d be able to get around to acting upon it.

SO MUCH FOR the theory that Ryan could get some time knocked off his prison term on the grounds that that he did provide “honest services” during his time as governor – meaning he didn’t deliberately try to rip off the people of Illinois with the actions that ultimately were determined to be criminal by a federal court jury.

Although I stand by my gut feeling when it comes to the whole Ryan affair.

Then-President George W. Bush had a chance to issue him a pardon, and current office-holder Barack Obama has heard similar pleas to show some sympathy for Ryan, including one from now-former Illinois first lady Lura Lynn.

Which it won’t shock me to learn that he will someday grant – after Ryan serves the full prison term. Perhaps a clemency plea will be approved around the year 2014! I really expect he’ll become the Republican equivalent of Dan Rostenkowski.

AND AS FOR the thought that some people might vote against Obama just to prevent him the ability to grant such a request, it’s possible.

Then again, I suspect those people weren’t going to vote for Obama to begin with, and likely are still miffed at Ryan because of his actions that began the process that ultimately did away with the death penalty in Illinois.

Because I will always be convinced THAT is the real reason some people are so ticked off at the Ryan memory that they will never consider forgiveness.


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