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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Monday, October 3

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daruma / September 8, 2006 2:09 PM

It seems like a bit much to me. Fines, community service, less time...ever since he cleared death row I've had a soft spot for him in my heart.

Hal / September 8, 2006 2:09 PM

It's enough, but barely. I was more concerned that he'd get off with a wrist-slap of probation. I have an issue with the argument that his defense floated that he was too old to serve time. I really don't see any way why that should be a factor in a sentencing decision.

Marilyn / September 8, 2006 2:09 PM

Not enough. Slap on the wrist, and don't tell me about his age. He won't die in prison.

ken / September 8, 2006 2:17 PM

It is entirely too short. If it were you or I (regular citizens) we would be looking at 20 years. A persons stature should have no bearing at all on sentencing. His service to the public, something his lawyers and himself both seem to hold high, was a paid service, it was his job that he was paid quite well to perform. One would think his salary alone would have kept him from persuing other ventures. Lets remember that a family was killed in an accident that was can be attributed directly to his illegal activities while in public office. If he were an everyday citizen he would have been hanged.

Allan / September 8, 2006 2:53 PM

The only reason George Ryan pulled that death penalty shit was to give him a little more bargaining power once he hit the ground. He knew he was going down. So no sympathy points for that political maneuvering. It is definitely a slap on he wrist. The only problem is that Dailey and Blago are just as guilty of just as much shit and more that no one can nail them with yet. Politics is a dirty game ladies. Get used to it.

Lawrence / September 8, 2006 3:21 PM

I'll tell ya what he oughta do, man . . . two dudes at the same time, man.

Spook / September 8, 2006 3:54 PM


I know how this is going to sound, but while Blago like us all is a cracked vessel, but I don't think he warrants the same fury as Ryan and Daley do. (Interesting fact, Daley actually endorsed Ryan for the Sec of State Race against the democratic state treasurer who ran on a anti corruption platform)
What Blago needs is for folks of a progressive mind to demand more from him and call him on his :*&% like we should have done more with Clinton,
and I aint talking about his relationship with Monica, I'm talking about good policy. I think over all Blago has been a good governor and with our firm guidance, I think he will grow and mature

p.s "

those that don't do politics will have politics done on to them" A. Lincoln

Marilyn / September 8, 2006 4:32 PM

I don't think Ryan's clearing of Death Row was political. There is a decent film on the process called "Deadline" that really delves into everything the governor did to come to a decision. You know, a broken clock tells the correct time twice a day. Ryan did the right thing for the right reasons. I'm convinced of it.

allan / September 8, 2006 4:42 PM


I understand your need to look deep down into the black abyss of Blago's political motives and find something there worth redeeming but the sad truth is that he is as dumb and dirty as the rest. Not to mention the fact that he fancies himself the "Elvis" of Illinois politics. Sheesh! Give me a F#$% break!

Allan / September 8, 2006 8:31 PM


In all honesty I don't think it is possible for a politician to make any major decision without weighing out the pros and cons in terms of how it will affect the publics perception of them and they can capitalize on it. In my book it was a brownie points issue for him.

Marilyn / September 8, 2006 10:36 PM

Allan - I hear you. Can't say as I fundamentally disagree with you. Nonetheless, on balance, I do think Ryan was acting out of his better nature on this one. The evidence presented in "Deadline" is convincing to me.

Mister C / September 8, 2006 11:35 PM

I feel that, all in all, it was about right. Two years was much too short and ten was a tad bit harsh, so six and change will do. I just hope Judge R.P. doesn't allow him to remain out on bond pending appeal, as I suspect a higher court will mysteriously overturn the sentence on some sort of specious technicality (in which case he at least does a little time in the pokey).

I also feel that his Death Penalty stance came from the heart, but it certainly doesn't diminish his responsibility for his malfeasance.

BTW Spook- Your position on Blago seriously intrigues me. Do you ever think it would be possible for Ritchie to reform "under our firm guidance," or do you think he's already too far gone? Perhaps if we had been firmer with him in his "formative years" he could have turned out better?

I know this must sound megasarcastic but I'm sincere. I've always had this peeve about how voters elect officials (essentially "hiring" them for a positition) and them leave them to do whatever they want. Never thinking that they can call them (literally) on their bad behavior, having the unique position of being the ones who "hired" them.

Talk about being "a prisoner of hope", eh?

Mister C / September 8, 2006 11:41 PM

Oops- "overturn the verdict" and "then leave them". You'd think with live comment preview it wouldn't be a problem, but I guess I was too long winded for my own good (as per usual).

Spook / September 9, 2006 11:42 AM


Do you discount Blago’s action to alleviate some of the misery of the most vulnerable? What about his universal child care package “All Kids” or his shielding the seniors from the barbaric Bush medicare plan with a senior prescription plan that will keep our seniors covered. He was also one of the first Governor’s to tell Bush to go screw on blocking stem cell research by funding it locally. And least we forget his upholding the law so women can get the morning after pill from any pharmacy.

And what about the fact that he did dump Dick Mell? I know it’s looked at as betrayal, but I don’t see it that way. Again I think Governor Rod is educable, but he needs our help
And yes Mr. C at first I thought you were being mega sarcastic, which would have been understandable as is Allen's Mega pessimism. But I do not thing Daley is redeemable from a stand point of the poor or middle class. First his arrogance points to his mayoral lineage. He is and see’s himself as a King. I remember reading how as a State Senator he was referred to as Dirty Little Richie and while Blag has surrounded himself with some very competent, progressive and diverse people, such as his Human Services, Children and Family Services and DCFS director, Daley surrounds himself with scared colorless technocrats (to make sure the trains run on time) at best and ward flunkies at worst. And again all Daley’s policies directed at the poor are simply ways to get them out of the city

Now as far as Ryan’s policy to rid us of Death Row, I think it stemmed
from being greatly humbled by knowing that the feds were moving in for the kill. I believe he had sort of a death row conversation, excuse the pun

Paul / September 9, 2006 5:46 PM

I know that if I ever committed such a crime, I'd love to get off so easily and publicly state my prison preference. I mean, come on. The guy is a criminal. 6.5 years = not enough.

Justin / September 9, 2006 7:05 PM

I really don't care whether he cleared death row for "brownie points" or not. In that situation he did the right thing. That being said this good deed in no way excuses the way in which he abused the power of his position. He had a duty to serve the interests of Illinois' citizens. He should also make a direct apology to the Willis family...

spook / September 9, 2006 8:42 PM


I guess you didn't see Ryan's wifes apology to the Willis. allow me to translate, basically she said "get over it."

jaye / September 10, 2006 11:14 AM

as usual another one gets all easy.

its like we just waste our money with these stupid trials.. why not just say here, take this little pinch on the butt until things calm down.

whatever, its a joke!

Terminal Verbosity / September 11, 2006 9:14 AM

I loved the death row commutations and I don't believe they were politically motivated. I hate the corruption and let us not forget the Willis kids who paid violently for it. George Ryan is a complex public figure.

Therefore, I think the sentence is just right. That is the right amount of time for him to outline his memoirs and line up a ghostwriter to put it together for him. By the time his six and a half are up, the movie version should be in the editing room. Starrind Ed Asner, of course. It will receive four Golden Globe nominations but lose in every category to a made for tv movie depicting Al Franken's assassination of G.W. Bush.

Smitty / December 31, 2007 11:15 AM

Don't do the crime,if you can't stand the time! City and state politicians have been getting away with murder for years,and it just keeps on happening...and it will continue until the end of time...

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