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George Ryan: Guilty. What do you think of the verdict?

| 135 Comments

The jury delivered a long-awaited verdict in the trial of former Gov. George Ryan.
Guilty.
What is your opinion of the decision?

TUESDAY UPDATE: Interesting string below. No sympathy for Ryan.

135 Comments

A proper and just verdict for a ethically-challenged political hack. I hope he spends his remaining days on earth behind bars with the souls of the Willis children weighing heavily upon him.

I hope this sends a message to all in Government that no more will they get away with what they have been doing.

I been thinking about this all day.In 2004 before he was under the glass by the Feds,he was out in Ohio for Bush.So I ask this did any monies come from the funds that Ryan was just convicted of?

Justice was served accordingly.

Congrats to the Feds on nailing the crooked George Ryan. One down, two to go. Daley and Blagojevich must be feeling very uneasy.

Beautiful!!!!! This scumbag deserves everything he gets

Good I`m Glad he was found Guilty.This guy is worse than
Joey The Clown Lombardo.

A shot over the bow of the criminal politicians and parties that plague our state. Such cretins are dealt with very harshly in China. In Illinois they are dealt with by simpletons voting straight party tickets like Soviet Slaves.

A corrupt politician who is found guilty of being corrupt? I think this may send another strong message that politicians are not above the law despite the indignance of Mr. Ryan who thinks his reputation and service should counterbalance this inconvenient verdict. Please exit the spotlight in shame, sir.

Amen, this is what politician get for thinking that they are above the law. they are the biggest crooks. The saying goes like this what you do in the dark will come to light sometime or another.

This is a no Brainer. The system works,and that good to see, but the cost is a problem. We need to figure out a way to streamline the system , so we can go after these guys, and all there attorneys can do is present there case in a timely manner,and get a verdict.We'll see if he ever gets any time.

George Ryan was clearly scheming for his political gain for the last ten years of his career. The evidence that I have read, and the testimony of his former right hand man,(Scott Fawell)were pretty damaging.
It is just a shame the amount of political abuse, and the cost of the trial the people of Illinois have had to endure.

A new trial will be ordered on appeal and one or both will plead to lesser charges to avoid a long prison stay.

Just my guess.

This decision shows that Patrick Fitzgerald's team of prosecutors are shooting real bullets.

I think that this verdict -- guilty on ALL counts -- will lead many in state and city government who have been under investigation by Fitzgerald's team to cop a plea and roll over on their superiors. It may also yield dividends in the Plame leak/perjury investigation in D.C.

There will be massive fall out from this decision, but we won't know its full scope for some time.

I think that the subjects and targets of the Plame investigation have a lot to worry about, considering how Patrick Fitzgerald overcame huge obstacles in bringing Ryan to justice and yet prevailed on all counts. How I wish that Fitzgerald was the Attorney General of the United States of America; then we could really and truly clean up Washington, D.C.

Pass the popcorn, the fun is just beginning!

He was a crook and now he should be treated like one. I can't understand why there is so much white collar crime in the City of Chicago. I'm from California and I moved here 10 years ago and that always been in the news is some form of white collar crime. It sickens me that it is allowed to go on for generation after generation.

He got what he had coming to him. You cannot tell me that this man did not know what was going on up in that office. If he didn't, he gets the DA Award(Dumb you know what). But I doubt that. He just got caught and it's good to see that prison isn't just for the poor who break laws. I truly believe the scales of justice, at least for today are equal. Your money does not mean you can get away with doing what you did. Let's hope they get Kenneth Lay down in Texas. Power to the regular everyday people!!

If the jury says he is guilty - then he IS guilty - unless of course the verdict is overturned by a higher court!

Now - On to De Lay man!!!

I thought that it would be a miss trial. I am very happy for the verdict.

I think it is about time we start cleaning house of all the crooks we have in our government.

It's gratifying that the jury was able to reach a just verdict in spite of the length of the trial, the complexity of the matters put before them, and the last-minute difficulties with some jury members. I had begun to fear that this disgustingly-corrupt politician might somehow escape justice, thanks to the vigorous defense donated by his old pal Jim Thompson. I think Thompson has definitely diminished his own legacy as a proponent of honest government, by donating such an expensive defense to a man with the blood of children on his hands. Oops, I guess that was unfair. Ryan was always too careful to allow any blood on his own hands--the stains were only on the pocket where he kept his wallet.

Another conviction for an Illinois politician in a State that already has a distinguished record of convicted politicians. The people of Illinois need to be more selective in their choice for honest representatives in the future.

release george,he's innocent he's my friend

Not a good day for Gov Hairboy and and da Mayor. They know they might be next.

Oh Happy Day.......

I think it is a victory for the taxpayers of the state and a credit to law enforcment to have conducted a sweeping investiagtion to conclude with all of the convictions

Fitzgerald is good real good. Look for the other criminal cases he has to get the same results. History is in the making. Fitzgerald is only looking at facts not playing games. America is a better place because of honesty people who work for the people not like Bush who lies,steals and moments crimes while using religion as his shield. Bush is the world's axis of evil as he is doing Satan's work. We own all the proscutors that are honest like Fitzgerald a thank you for bring back respect and honesty to the United States of America.

Gov. Ryan will now pay for the corruption he committed while holding positions of public trust. Unfortunately he follows in the footsteps of other corrupt politicians including Gov Kerner and Walker and our own Tom Keane. I hope this verdict sends a quiver of fear in those elected officials with similar inclinations to use and abuse their power.

why now? after all this years! that's crazy! Trust me someone knew about this bull sh-- many,many years ago. It's the greatest cover up to save others buts! Trust me! Smell likes scapegoat politics in Chicago again!

why now? after all this years! that's crazy! Trust me someone knew about this bull sh-- many,many years ago. It's the greatest cover up to save others buts! Trust me! Smell likes scapegoat politics in Chicago again!

I think this is just a backlash for Ryan implementing the Moratorium. I am no Ryan fan, but I don't believe that this case would have went this far had he not suspended the death penalty in Illinois. Many politicians in Illinois make their case selling the death penalty as though it equals security and these people wanted payback from Ryan.

Finally... Lyin' Ryan couldn't fool the jury -- or the rest of us. YES!!

I think that the verdict is a joke the trail was a joke the evidence was not there and I am not a fan of Ryan nor have I ever been.The trail should have been declared a mistrial from the moment the first juror lied then a second juror lied then a juror spoke with someone else and the stupid knowledge that they are not looking at the news what a idiot the judge was.At least he is set for a Over Turn.

When most people and businessmen get something for free, parking, gifts, tickets etc, they owe the IRS as "income". Since George Ryan received free legal defense in excess of $1-million, do the rules apply to him, as it does to other taxpayers ???

And furthermore, WHY did Thompson's law firm do this in the first place ? To help the downtroden and poor ? Someone should talk more about it..the "connected" that is.
And lastly, criminal defense lawyers, apparently under our system of "justice" should be amoral to be successfull...as former Federal Prosecutor Webb is.
Tom yanul

At first, this investigation appeared to be another example of political soldiers taking the heat while the “head cheese��? goes unscathed. This should be a clear sign to all politicians in the state that "business as usual" can lead to a conviction of the foot soldiers and the CHIEF! The $25,000 Question is whether the politicians are REALLY taking notice? "Springfield and City Hall, we have a problem?"

The conviction of George Ryan means that that four of our last seven, elected governors have been arrested and charged with serious crimes. This 60% figure clearly shows that our system of electing governors in Illinois is broken.

I think we should immediately declare a moratorium on electing governors in Illinois and appoint a commission to try to find ways to fix the system.

My personal opinion is that this system is beyond repair and that we should abolish the office of governor in Illinois. Not only would this create a more honest state government but would also help avoid the need for these long federal prosecutions and at the same time free up a cell for the use of other career criminals.

List follows:

George Ryan Convicted

Jim Edgar

Jim Thompson

Dan Walker, Indicted and convicted

Richard Ogilvie

Samuel Shapiro (not elected, took over from Kerner)

Otto Kerner, Indicted and convicted

William Strantton, Indicted but acquitted


As one juror said:" It was very stressfull", and it was taking too much of their time, so they wanted to finish it as soon as possible, because in this country you can't afford to lose time and as for Ryan, well who cares about him. The most important thing is to get back into the American industrial life, which doesn't forgive to those who are out of work for long time. What a low quality of life based on material things that makes us fat and stupid and unintelligent. And that is our perception of happines and luck???????? It makes me cry what has become of material world. I'm not from this country but I feel sorry(and sad)for what it is.

Daley and Bush are next!

Serious violations of the public trust are at least as serious, if not more so, than many ordinary street crimes. The evidence shows Ryan and Warner were guilty, not once but many times. It is time they paid the price.

Glad to see him be convicted, he was very, very corrupt as are the Daley and Blagojevich groups and their cronies. I still dont understand why people in Chicago dont rise up and get rid of these leeches instead of re-electing the dems and thieves every election.

Unfortunately or fortunately the decision will be appealed & over turned. Will be intersting to see what went on (sealed etc by judge).

In 1990 2 women were raped and murdered on the Southside of Chicago by Robert Cloutier.

Mr. Cloutier was sentenced to death by an Illinois jury.

George Ryan commuted that sentence to life on his way out of office.

I think the US Attorney should use this verdict to examine whether or not Ryan's power to commute sentences was used as a humanitarian gesture, or in conjunction with an ongoing criminal conspiracy to garner favor with the public and/or a jury pool that he might eventually face.

As the 36th Ward Republican Committeeman, I could not be more pleased with the outcome. Regardless of party affiliation, a corrupt and morally devoid individual received the people's justice today. May he serve as an example to all our elected officials. For if one serves only their own interests and challenges our system of representation with their arrogance, they too may find themselves in a cell next to George Ryan.

Unfortunately or fortunately the decision will be appealed & over turned. Will be intersting to see what went on (sealed etc by judge).

Gosh, what a shock: a crooked politician in Illinois. He seems to rank right up with the original Mayor Richard Daley who ran Chicago like his own private fief when I was a kid living on the South Side.

I sincerely hope that U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald does as fantastic a job investigating the Valerie Plame leak case involving George Bush & Dick Cheney even if it takes another ten years. Corrupt Politicians do all citizens of this country a disservice by lying under oath, abusing the public trust, and infringing upon our constitutionally granted civil rights. All while labeling 'We the People' UNPATRIOTIC for standing up for those rights. I SINCERELY HOPE THAT THE VERDICT IN THIS CASE GIVES GEORGE W. BUSH & DICK CHENEY NIGHTMARES! The kind of nightmares they've forced upon the people of this nation Democrat and Republican alike since Inauguration Day January 20, 2001.

I think Ryan was no more, no less guilty than most of our elected officials. The shame of it is that it was politically motivated. Our standards in this state and this country need to be greatly elevated. I have seen a lot of postings here that I assume are from Democrats. Ironic that they gloat over the poster boy of Republican malfeasence when Ryan was actually a Democrat in Republican clothing. He always was.
The trial was a joke. Once again, our jury system is only a formality that mirrors public sentiment. The average citizen is incapable of sifting through the maze of documents, legal instructions, and jargon that was thrown at them. In a way, I feel sorry for Ryan. He no doubt broke the law, but so have most of his predecessors, including our current governor. A sad an unfortunate accident brought the spotlight down on him. Bad luck, not an inspired investigation dommed Ryan. One can only hope that in the future we can have a moratorium on any Republicans or Democrats holding office for twenty years. Maybe then, government can be given back to the people.

I have worked for the Secretary of State for 18 yrs. I remember well the times that Regional Managers would come to the facility carrying Campaign tickets. The first words out of their mouths was"you are on break" than they proceeded to ask how many tickets you wished to purchase.
I was George Ryan`s county cooridinator during his first run for Secretary of State. I refused to even vote for the man after that. It was not difficult to see that George Ryan was corrupt to the bone. Now,let us go after the rest.

Hopefully he will get the maximum sentence especially after his comments about how he gave 40 years of his life to public service. It wasn't public service, it was to line his pockets. I hope the rest of the politicians get the message it will no longer be "business as usual".

He deserves everything he got, He gave away the public trust and put uncounted lives at risk by selling drivers licenses to illegals that dont even know basic English! Those poor innocent children that died as a result of his actions!

It only work's if they serve a prison sentence .
How much did the Willis kid's lives cost?

he deserves it; hope he rots!!

George Ryan and My friend Carl Segvich are both good conservative Republicans. They are good bullshitters but terrible thieves. They always get caught. After Carl loses to John Daley, no prominent Republicans will be left. Tony Peraica is also going to jail.

Ok, Ryan got nailed. Now what about this deal with the Bush Cheney leaking of the CIA agent to Robert Novak. Certainly the bullshit these two have been cranking out for the past five years ought to rank up there with Ryan. The Bush score in Iraq is about 2600 and counting, not to mention the wounded. Oh and by the way, I saw where oil hit $70 a barrel today. That ought to make them good ole boys in Texas happy. Maybe Cheney ought to go hunting again, and bring W with him

How much did the government spend on this trial? No one is asking (or answering) this question. Unlimited resources for over a decade to investigate politics. The money we're talking about is miniscule compared with the money the government spent. Meanwhile people continue to plot to kill us and our borders are unsecure. Thanks Patrick(s), great use of our tax money on tax day. Now quit trying to further your careers and get on with protecting your employers.

I was in Springfield when Ryan was Governor and Secretary of State We heard stories all the time about what went on in his office. It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. I hope he makes friends of all with all those prisoners he let off of death row. He'll need their protection.

Anytime I ever got a ticket for speeding, I noticed other people speeding while I was being ticketed. George Ryan, love him or hate him, he wasn't driving any faster than anyone else. He got pulled over. He was a better governor than Thompson or Blago.

Now we know why Ryan was against the Death Penalty. We're one step closer to nabbing you Dick Daley.

With over 70 convictions, zero acquittals, and dozens of immunity deals for state employees, who most seemed to have gotten patronage jobs, it is really spectacular to see how deep the corruption was and why nobody had the guts to blow the whistle. Thanks to Peter Fitzgerald for appounting Patrick Fitzgerald..best thing to happen in Illinois in a long time!

Remember this the next time an election rolls around. By not voting the crooks get into office because they know to manipulate the electoral process. The party comes first and that means the top dogs, not the little guy.
By not voting you put them in office. Be aware of what is going on and pay attention to the issues.
As long as you stay home, that's a vote for them.
Quit griping and put someone of integrity in office. The ultimate blame should be placed on you, the registered voter that can't be bothered to vote.

FINALLY! Some justice for one who so blatantly misused his office as Secretary of State and then as Governor. What gets me is he actually thinks he did nothing wrong. Signs of a sociopathic nature? I compare his lying, manipulations & denials in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary to those similar actions of Scott Peterson. Two-of-a-kind narcisstic personalities! Let's hope the courts uphold the ruling & nobody can be bought off to overturn these verdicts.

IT IS A SAD SITUATION BUT IN POLITICS THIS HAPPEN ALL THE TIME THE THING I LIKE ABOUT THE ATTORNEY IS IF YOU ARE DEMOCRAT OR REPUBLICAN HE DOESN'T PLAY FAVORITE AND IF YOU TELL ANYONE SOONER OR LATER SOMEBODY IS GOING TO TELL

Just outside Chicago is a placed called Illinois...naaah...it's all the same sh#@...

This is NORMAL politics around here and will NEVER change!!!

As far as I am concerned any laws Ryan made should be eliminated based on his conviction, that is, nothing he did can be trusted as an "honest" decision to create a new law/rule. Thus the death penalty should be one policy that should be restored back to its previous state - allowing it to be enforce again.


It was great to see that his plan of commuting death row sentences so he could get a sympothetic jury pool back fired. I hope his future home will be just as nice as those trips to Jamacia he took on the tax payers money. Maybe his new home will be painted with tropical scenes on the walls.

The verdict was exactly what Illinois and the USA needed. Mr Ryan commuted death sentences purely as a smokescreen against his criminality. This sick man would stop at nothing to save himself and perpetuate thievery and corruption. May he spend the rest of his life behind bars!

They actually considered this piece of dog doodoo for the Nobel Peace prize because he stopped executions of innocent prisoners. Thank God there is still justice in our perverted society.

yOU ALL DON'T KNOW HOW CORRUPT THIS GUY WAS BECAUSE YOU WERE NOT THERE. SO JUSTICE WAS DONE TODAY AND TO YOU WHO THINK IT WAS WRONG SORRY FOR YOU.

Finally after all this time, the avg person sees this crook for what he is .

Gov.Ryan was found guilty.Great!But he will never spend a day in jail.If he lives long enough to suvive the lengthy appeals of his high priced (pro bono) lawyers,they will claim he is too old and infirm to go to jail.

Mel Brooks said it best at the end of "The Producers":

"We find the defendents incredibly guilty!"

I hope he dies in prison next to one of his death row buddies.

Ever since I can remember, and I am 60 years old, there has been a steady stream of politicians in Illinois going to jail. The people of Illinois don't care otherwise they would vote for honest politicians. It seems in Illinois the voters keep picking sleze over substance. Ryan was convicted, but it was the people of Illinois who put him there.

Is Mayor daley Next?

I find George Ryan's arrogance extremely offensive, even as he reacted -- angrily -- to the vedicts.

"I believe this decision today is not in accordance with the kind of public service that I've provided to the people of Illinois over 40 years," he said. What does the "quality" of his public service have to do with whether he is guilty or not, whether he is a thief and a liar.

There's some constipated people walking around City Hall right now.

How many terrorists and illegals have Il driver's licenses? CDLs travel all over the country.

We're all thumping our chests about what a piece of crap George Ryan is and how happy we are that he got his comeuppance. And the Willis's, down in Tennessee feel vindicated.

But here's a question. If money cannot compensate for the loss of a one child, let alone six, why would the Reverend Willis, man of God, accept the $100 Million Dollar award he received from the court?

You can't be much more corrupt than Ryan was. It would have been a travesty if he would have been found innocent or gotten off because of a mistrial. I hope this shakes up a lot of other pols.

lubricate the hinges on the gallow trap door.

How does Daley get away with doing much worse for a longer period of time? Blagoyavich should be next for his illegal contributions and cronies in positions he appointed.

Daley was even worse! Remember what he did to Miriam Santos? Etc..

He got what he deserved. I have paid taxes for over 40 years for Ryan to be rich and his friends. What goes around comes around.

this is a sad day for illinois but I know the people will bounce back now lets deal with the spanish illegals why dont they take all the people ptotesting in america to mexico and over throw the goverment there and convict them like ryan was

I am glad that this long time crook was convicted. When Dan Webb said that this was just politics not crime he was certainly making an ironic statement. The only thing that would make me happier would be to see Webb, a former prosecutor behind bars.

I'm glad this corrupt hack was convicted. His continued arrogance makes me so angry. You don't believe this "is in accordance with the kind of public service" you did? Actually, it IS. You took bribes and encouraged corruption for YEARS - your policies killed people like the Willis' children. The buck stops somewhere - with YOU in JAIL.

I wonder how many people who are trashing Ryan now voted for him as Governor, after the Willis info was everywhere, or Sec. of State, when Channel 5 and others reported that SOS investigators were shaking down auto shops for campaign contibutions. You get what you play for.

My aunt was murdered in 1983 by a man named Milton Johnson. He was on death row for over 20 years when George Ryan ganted him a clemency from death row, right before he left office. Barb lived with us and I was supposed to go with her the morning she was murdered along with three of her friends. Now, there is no way we are ever going to see justice for our family, because Milton Johnson is not going to be put to death. I really wish George Ryan could share a cell with Johnson, and some of the other convicted killers he let off the hook. I hope George Ryan dies in prison, where he belongs. It's just too bad he didn't get caught sooner....Hey George, maybe when you are burning in hell, you'll know how the Wilson kids suffered, and then maybe they can get their justice also!!!

Thank you to the men and women of the jury for serving all of us, and telling the truth. George Ryan has a more demanding judge to face one day, I hope the rest of his life is spent in repentance and humility. Even Ahab repented, so there is hope.

The complete failure of Dan Webb and his fellow litigators from Winston & Strawn confirms our decision to retain another, prestigious Loop firm as legal counsel. Even the appeal that the former governor's attorneys intend to file is based on jury issues uncovered not by them but by investigating journalists.

The simple truth - George Ryan hurt people. To me, that is unforgivable, especially when he was in a position to help people.

The one example that I can wrap my heart around, is when Ryan, through one of his deals began the slippery slope of landbanking for the proposed Peotone airport.

Ryan wanted to relieve campaign contributor Bob Bonnema of his burden -- land he owned and couldn't sell -- in the over-priced, greed-motivated Heatherbrook Subdivision in Monee Township where IDOT assistant airport project manager Christine Cochrane was township supervisor.

Ryan called it a protective buy for the Peotone airport, even though the land wasn't even in the airport footprint. Ryan allocated the first taxpayer money to buy land. that leads us to where we are now - nowhere near Peotone.

It was because of George Ryan and his land deal that people got scared that an airport would actually happen. Some sold in a panic. Then there were others, who sold their homes to get out from under the stress and pain that not knowing has cost them. An entire region has faced near-eternal hell because George Ryan made a deal. To me, that is inexcuseable.

Is it just my imagination, or does George Ryan look even smarmier this morning than he did yesterday?

We are TIRED of corruption and are taxes going higher and higher and our services not improving. There is a long list of corrupted politicians. You politicos better work for the people and for your pockets.
But I guess politics is about power and making your friends and family rich in the process.

A sad commentary about the state of politics in Illinois and Chicago. Neither party has taken the moral high-road in matters of corruption. Sadly the only difference between parties is the name of the politician on the take. Again, this election year I will be forced to vote against a candidate, rather than for a candidate. Maybe, I will sit this one out.

GEORGE RYAN IS GETTING WHAT HE DESERVES. MAKE ROOM IN PRISON FOR THE CURRENT GOVENER AND THE MAYOR OF CHICAGO.

As I sat in my living room on yesterday, I was surprised that both Ryan and Warner were found guilty on "all" counts. I do not feel sorry for them. Many of us have been used as "puppets" for
persons who are in up high profiled positions. I am more than thankful for the decisions of the jurors. Many persons have been betrayed. Six children died because of wrong doings! Many will want to have mercy on Ryan because of his age. Let us remember, if Ryan were black, he would have to pay the price. Let Ryan accept this challenge like a "real man." Alleluia!!!

I AM DISAPPOINTED I THINK X GOVERNOR RYAN DID LOTS OF GOOD FOR THE STATE OF ILINOIS, I WAS HOPING FOR AN ACQUITAL.

Some observations:

I was proud of American government when I saw a black woman jury foreman-clearly quite talented and fair-able to put a crooked old boy governor away.

When I hear all the talking heads discuss the appeals process and what is next I get frustrated. This man and his wife lived lavishly on $70 for an entire year. Case closed.

I thought this was an extremely fair trial and will be upheld.

I believe that Dan Webb is overrated. I know this was a tough case because Ryan was so crooked but not having him testify and introducing the evidence of the employee Christmas gifts seemed to backfire.

Guilty people refuse to testify in their own defense.

I am happy with the verdict. I wish that there
couldn't be an appeal because that is going to be a waste of time and money. I would like to see Ryan end up sharing a cell with the murderer of Officer Simenson.

I'm glad Ryan was convicted. Now what I don't understand is why the press and the news media have given a voice to a jurior that lied on her application. Why do we care what a liar thinks or have to say.
To Ryan: accept responsiblility for what you did and stop wasting the taxpayers' money with an appeal. GOD knows and now we know the truth.

Acquital would have been the right verdict. Bundling former governor George Ryan with the Warner dimension was one of the wrongest parts of the phoney indictment process. What good has come of the "Shorty Folks" terroristic wannabe gang sexual predatory operatives stuffing paperwork over a long time? Can't their cooperative minions steal the courthouse and civic documents without horrid shows up front? Which of the fugitives from justice were advertising their temporary victory with the heinous Oklahoma carnage? Duplicity was rampant with the go-everywhere to re-enact the van accident crew in Kankakee while another set of their affiliates were commuting southwest. Isn't the stench from their toxic cigars sufficient to confirm their mutual depravities as they age, thankfully age to the point of not being mobile without stupid slaves assisting? Let's get real on this talkback opportunity. What goes around could come around for those who only know better than to be directly involved. Take care those who are licking your chops...Bounties on the pardoned death row fellows could foment some backlashing of looks that might penetrate even your disgusting gloats.

I am not proud and this verdict provides little consolation to me as a citizen and taxpayer. Where is the government and its case when corruption is taking place? Why do we always have to spend millions of dollars and man hours to proceed against after someone has performed in their dream job and their family and loved ones reap all of the benefits? Personally, I felt an acquittal was in order, and feel as if the defense has been provided grounds for, especially with the jury alternate situations. Whatever the final outcome is, I will forever commend Mr. Ryan for his stance on the death penalty and the moratorium. He stood tall, despite everything, and did something that most knew was the right thing to do, but didn't. God Bless him and his family.

All Ican say is that Ryan is a disgrace to the Republican party. I am a die hard Republican and I would enjoy seeing him in a striped jump suit in prison. I hope Fitzgerald continues to investigate all the corrupt politicians in Illinois.
Max Vila

My favorite part was his quote that he didn't think the verdict reflected his 40 years of service to the State. So.......apparently serving the public is not reward enough.....now the public owes you free reign to lie, cheat, steal and basically embarass the good citizens of the State? George Ryan is human excrement and should rot in jail.

Of course I applaud punishment of governmental corruption. But as I read comments here I cannot resist wondering how many of those cheering this recent "victory" actually voted for Ryan. Further, I wonder how many here actually take the trouble to vote at all?

Another "public servant" with a sense of entitlement! What a waste, he did some good things for the State. However, as far as getting a fair trial, I'm not entirely sure that was the case given all the hijinks of that jury. No way would I want that to have been my jury. I would feel more confident about this verdict were there no controversy...

HE got what he deserves. May Bushwacker and Big Dick Chaney be next.

He truly got what he deserves. You reap what you sew. What you send out into the lives of others shall come back to you.

Yes, I agree. Mr. Ryan did a lot of wonderful things for our state. Let's list a few:

1) "Illinois First" - Surplus, smurplus! Who needs to save money or reinvest it when we can spend billions of dollars on political payback projects!
2) Reforms to our democratic system. From the beginning, George Ryan was a champion of reforms to our representative system of government. Need something done? It's simple. Just open your wallet! Thank God for the many truck drivers who helped fund Ryan's rise to the governorship!
3) Death Penalty Reforms: Whether you're for or against it, it was great to have a governor of such absolute judicial wisdom that he was able to comprehend the decisions layed down by the judges and juries that put all of those "innocent" people on death row and know that they were wrong. That was the great thing about George Ryan. His total lack of respect for the common man and the institutions of democratic government. And, we all know, that Mr. Ryan commuted those sentences only out of a selfless desire to ensure that justice was carried out - not to save his own political legacy or win public opinion points.

There are, to be sure, many more things to list here. In fact, if you caught some of the comments by Ryan after the announcement of his conviction, he was quick to point them out.

Fianlly, it should come to no surprise, that when all was said and done, George Ryan, still snubbed the decisions of his fellow Illinoisans, by taking no responsibility for his actions, shifting the blame, and making it seem like the jurors were simpletons.

Yes. This arrogant, mean-spirited hack, did a lot of good for Illinois.

As I read these posts, it sickens me to see how quickly we detach ourselves from a problem. We want to throw a Grandfatherly White Male under the bus. Better yet a White Republican. The media has hated George Ryan since they came in contact with him. Yes, he did wrong. Yes, he should pay the penalty, but every Illinoisan needs to look in the mirror because we have elected people on both sides of the isle whose only intention is to serve themselves.

We as citizens ultimately get what we deserve. With that being said, all of Illinois voters pulled the metal from the infamous truck and threw it under the van of that innocent family. Because we tolerate coruption and allow the Chicago news media to pick and choose who to love or villify, we are all felons.

How many of you take advantage of perks at work that others don't have access to....driving the company car to the store...over using the company expense account. We are all such hippocrits.

It's to bad George didn't learn to kiss the media's rear.....he might have walked away with a fine. Just as Richie and Rod will. The media likes them. An indictment of human behavior. Perhaps

I am sure that Governor Ryan is guilty of something. However, I don't think he should have to spend the rest of his life behind bars. His life's service does mean something and his moratorium on the death penalty was great leadership. This coming from a diehard Democrat. If Nixon could be pardoned, then surely Ryan could get a short sentence.

My only comment to this corruption ordeal is, where in the heck did he hide all that money he stoled from the people of Illinois? Maybe the IRS can shed some light to this public embarrassment!

I was never a fan of his, and the death penalty stuff was just a stunt in my opinion, but it is a little sad to send an ex-governor to prison on only circumstantial evidence. And having that idiot BJ MASH actor come testify for him was stupid.

What a calous old politician, to say that he feels no remorse over his criminal actions, one of which resulted in the horrific firey death of six children. That he feels no remorse is alone a good reason for him to be jail bound, that is if his money and influence don't over turn his sentance.

Now it's time to get the trio of sociopaths, Bush, Cheney and heck of a job Rumsfield.
The Downing Street minutes confirmed by Mr. Blair of England should be all the evidence we need for impeachment.

Ryan was a crook and a cheat and six innocent children paid the price for his crimes in office. I hope and pray that Mayor Daley is next as I feel he is probably worse than Ryan could ever be.

ryan states in today's paper that he is broke. what ? he has collected over a $500,000 in pension money since 2003. also, he spoke of the burden of flying in from kankakee for the trial. kankakee ? it's a 45 minute drive. i hope this arrogant sob rots in prison til the day he dies.

Nice to see justice served especially with a cantankerous and nasty man like George. Daley and Blago are next hopefully - but why do people keep electing and re-electing these idiots? Like Betty, the wife of convicted mob boss - why put her in office in the first place... why keep re-electing Daley when 80% of his administration is on the take!?

It's about time the public spoke, & the message is we are tired of elected officials lining their pockets with our hard earned money instead of doing their jobs serving the public first and foremost. Another 2 things I'd like to point out, that Ryan didn't do anymore for the people of Kankakee unless it was to promtote himself first. So to all you people in Kankakee who are crying & whining about poor George Ryan wake up & get ovet it
he screwed over you as well. I guess it don't hurt as bad when the home guy does it as opposed to a stranger. But lastly the worst of all was letting convicted death row killers off all as a political smoke screen to throw off the Feds. There are many families who received justice & then were deprived of that when Ryan decided to try & fool the public. The sad part of it is even if he does jail time it it'll be in a place that a lot of people would call better than the living conditions they have now.

All I wanna know is this: Did Sneed really have lunch with Ryan and his family? Or did she simply get to ask a few questions while the Ryan family ate lunch? I think readers deserve to know the truth -- not some truthy distortion.

I hope this is the beginning of the end of "the way business is done" in Illinois. The only thing I feel bad about is that George Ryan is being blamed for the death of the Willis children. I know the driver bought his license, but what caused the accident was a piece of metal falling off his truck. Whether his license was bought or not had nothing to do with that situation. Additionally, other drivers were yelling at him that the part was dangling and he did not understand them. As far as I know, you don't have to speak English to get a driver's license in Illinois. I really believe that George Ryan is the scapegoat for that particular tragedy. Guilty on all other counts, though, but not the Willis childen, in my opinion.

About time!!! Amen justice has prevailed.

Did George Ryan use his political power to his advantage? Yes he probably did. However, he played politics the way he was taught coming up through the ranks in Illinois politics. The Secretary of State office has always been one of the most corrupt offices in the state. It was that way when the beloved Jim Edgar was Secretary of State. If justice is handed out properly, then I have no problem. However, this trial was not fair. There were numerous times that a mistrial should have been declared. While the majority of people who have posted have praised this conviction as a sign of an end to corruption in Illinois politics, I simply see it as the further decline of America. No matter who is on trial, the Constitution of this country guarantees every man or woman the right to a fair trial. Dismissing two jurors and replacing them with jurors who had possibly violated the judges instructions is not a fair trial. Having a jury who did not spend 24 hour days deliberating this case come out in 10 days with a verdict of guilty after this case had lasted over 6 months, to tell me that they seriously considered all of the evidence, I find that hard to believe. I have problems with the entire process. I have not always agreed with Ryan's positions but the fact of the matter is everyone should be given a fair trial, and in this case while many of you believe justice was served, this was a horrible blow to justice in this country.

OK FITZGERALD....A 70 YR OLD GREY HAIRED FORMER GOV IS ONE THING...BUT DALEY AND VICTOR REYES AND HDO ARE ANOTHER. I PERSONALLY DON'T THINK THE FEDS WILL GET THOSE GUY'S.
STAY TUNED.
"JUST WATCHING"

The people are through with these two corrupt parties (franchises) . Look to PACleansweep.com in Pennsylvania to show a new way to choose leaders.
No longer will money, special interest groups and position be deciding factors on who gets slated.
Pay attention to this movement in PA. Tho flawed like everything else, after all there are people in involved, it is growing! And the politicians cant stop it.

i am glad that he was convicted...he knew exactly what he was doing and more....than likely thought that he would get away with doing whatever he wanted ...since he had a little power..behind him...i hope that this sends a messge to other political people..they are not above the law...amen

His death penalty moratorium was the most cynical, mean-spirited act of political desperation I can remember. He dragged vistims' families through hell just to con some support from the anti-DP camp. He cared nothing about the DP before he realized he could get something out of it. Everything was for sale. When you're done at club fed, go to Cuba, swine.

Patrick Collins did an outstanding job building and prosecuting this case.

As we read that George Ryan will continue to collect his pension until he is sentenced, it makes one wonder why SERS doesn't hold the pending monthly retirement benefits in escrow until sentencing.

Funny: the 1 person who stands up for Ryan is the juror who was tossed out for lying about her criminal past. Yes, she WOULD sympathize. (But why would the media give her so much print and air time?)

George Ryan is a good man and was a great governor. He was a much better governor for Illinois than Rod Blagovich will ever be. Nothing that he is accused of doing isn't done by every other politician in Chicago and Illinois. Politicians do the same thing that business people do, hire friends who they can count on to do jobs right. Where are we as a society if we mandate who we can and cannot hire based on things like race, gender. Any day of the week, I would rather hire a friend who I can vouch for than a stranger who I do not know.

We should be more concerned with the faults of justice system that let rapists and killers walk free. We are locking up a harmless old gentleman who served his country and his state. Is this really who we want to fill our prisons with? Aren't their sex offenders, child molesters and drug dealers we would rather see in our prisons?

Then, to those who have the audacity to blame the death of the Willis children on the Secretary of State, grow up. Put blame where it belongs - in the drivers seat!

Finally, to those who think that this is the end to corruption in Illinois. Mayor Daley (who will forever get my vote) is amongst the most corrupt, according to your standards. Blagovich is corrupt and a bad governor.

Let's put the people who belong in prison there. George, appeal! You got support out there!

I am amused by Jason Baumann's blog stating why don't we go after the system that let's rapist and murderers go free. Didn't Ryan do that as well.

The Bum got what he deserved.


I understand that going to Jamaica funded by government contractors or asking people to raise funds on state time is a crime in the statutes.

It is just that I do not see it as a severe crime. I think compensation to the families is more effective than jail. I think if George Ryan worked as a pharmacy technician he could give money to reimburse people who were harmed. In jail, I do not think he does anything. He would use more resources than he creates.

If George Ryan had gone to the local Jamaican restaurant with one of the contractors would that have been ok and not a crime? Is it just the fact that he went far away? I think of going to Jamaica as a work activity--learning about vacations, hurricanes, weather, culture, flora and fauna.


I see going to Jamaica as something I would want to be paid for at certain times because I am scared of hurricanes. I am not kidding. I really am scared of hurricanes down there. I would learn about Jamaican culture if I went to Jamaica. George Ryan came back from Jamaica better educated, more rested, and better able to serve our citizens. He learned about a different culture and people. Sitting in Springfield does not teach you about immigrants to our state or the places we send rescue workers to.


Imagine each of you if you were director of UIUC, Dominican, Sulzer, Concordia, University of Chicago, Northwestern U. or DePaul library. One of your employees wants to study an ancient book about pyramids or an ancient book about surgery. You as library director ask all your employees "Let's try to raise some money so this employee can study the ancient book about creation stories. She really likes studying these ancient books." ( I proposed the topic by the way to 2 recent conferences. I said they are like the Jesus and Jude text.) That is how George Ryan probably felt. He felt like what he was doing was important and he wanted people to raise money to support his projects.

I see lawyers as like foreign armies attacking states sometimes. George Ryan was a king like Napoleon who got attacked for his empire work. I do not however see Patrick Collins and Patrick Fitzgerald as much different than different armies attacking George Ryan. Mediation would have solved this better than an expensive trial. Mediation might mean less money for lawyers however. Maybe I am completely wrong about some of these things.

James T. Struck

I am surprised by this decision. George Ryan was indeed corrupt in the way he forced his workforce into buying his fundraiser tickets and this caused desperate co-workers to sell licenses for bribes. These funds were funneled into Georges "Citizens for Ryan" piggybank. This has caused a crackdown on stateworkers not being allowed to do fundraiser activities on state time (a needed reform indeed!) He placed many of his friends in plush state jobs shortly before he left office as well as emptying "death row" to raise public support knowing he was going to be prosecuted for his crimes in the near future. I do not feel that putting this political crook behind bars would serve any purpose now especially due to his age and health. Any sentence beyond 5 years will likely be a "life" sentence. I believe that he should have his pension taken away and be under "house" arrest and perhaps serve a lengthy public service tribute such as many hours lecturing on the evils of political corruption. I doubt that he would agree to this but would love to offer him this chance to do some good as a chance to stay out of jail. Rotting away in jail would not serve any purpose and by letting him repent for his sins by doing "public service" lectures, he could serve a warning to other crooked politicians to straighten up or face the same legal wrath that brought him down.

I think all the Republicans. Bush. ryan, Segvich, Cheney, Foley, are all crooks and deserve to be in jail. The Republicans had their chance. They screwed it up. Segvich, Oberweis, Buchanan, keyes, Cox. These guys belong at mcDonald's. They never win. They lost more than the Cubs.

John Cox is running for president in 2008. He has just picked Carl Segvich for his running mate. These two are like the keystone cops. Between them, they have lost more elections than Lar daley. I hope they both find jobs at Burger King. At least it is honest work and they won't be critical of the administration.

Somebody tell me how it makes more sense to blame someone
for the words of others, while ignoring the fact that someone tells a blatant lie, then tells another lie to justify the first.
Obama is condemned for words spoken by his former pastor, and
Hillary is obviously forgiven for saying she arrived to Bosnia
under sniper fire, though she was greeted by a little girl with
flowers. She says she misspoke when she was caught in the lie, but that was a lie too.

I find it hard to believe that White America in this day and age is so shallow that they would castigate Barack Obama for the incendiary remarks his Pastor has been spewing. Would White America want to be judged by someone elses words and actions. I think not,but my feelings though suggest that any excuse would suffice if you want to justify your not wanting to vote for someone not like yourself. Just a thought!

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on April 18, 2006 12:18 PM.

Sen. Barack Obama: "Had enough'' was the previous entry in this blog.

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