WBEZ | communitation http://www.wbez.org/tags/communitation Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Gov. Ryan reflects from prison on decision to clear death row http://www.wbez.org/story/communitation/gov-ryan-reflects-prison-decision-clear-death-row <p><p>A court document is providing new insight into former Illinois Governor George Ryan's decision to clear death row in the last days of his administration.&nbsp; His reflections are contained in a deposition he gave to an attorney for the City of Chicago involved in a wrongful conviction lawsuit.&nbsp; The city was being sued by Oscar Walden, a man Ryan pardoned on the basis of innocence.&nbsp; The city attorney tried to undercut that pardon.<br /><br />The attorney asked Ryan how much time he spent on each pardon he granted, 15, 20 minutes?&nbsp; Did the governor investigate the crimes or talk to witnesses?<br /><br />Ryan said he relied on the investigations done by the prisoner review board and assumed they did their job right,&nbsp; but he says he remembers burning the midnight oil in his office with files all over the floor.&nbsp; He says he read about each prisoner's life, from childhood all the way through conviction.<br /><br />Ryan says he was positive innocent men were awaiting executio,&nbsp; but he couldn't tell who was innocent and who was guilty ,so he cleared death row because, &quot;if there's one that's innocent, I'm not going to wake up six months after I leave office and say, that guy got killed, and I could have saved him and didn't,&quot; said Ryan.<br />&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 01 Mar 2011 21:24:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/communitation/gov-ryan-reflects-prison-decision-clear-death-row