Your NPR news source

Reaction to Ryan Sentence

SHARE Reaction to Ryan Sentence

Former Illinois Governor George Ryan will serve six and half years behind bars. Ryan was sentenced in Chicago yesterday, after being convicted of corruption charges in April.

Defense attorney Dan Webb says he’s requesting that the former governor stay free during the appeal proccess.

“We are very hopeful that someday this conviction will be reversed, and George Ryan will be vindicated, and this conviction will be put behind him. And I’ll wait for that day,” Webb says.

Ryan’s lawyers say problems with the jury could lead to a reversal of the guilty verdict.

During sentencing, Ryan asked Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer for leniency, saying he might not survive a long prison stint.

Meantime, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald says other politicians should pay close attention to the sentence.

“We hope that somewhere out there, at some point, people will people stop and think and look at what’s happening, and realize just how horrible corruption is what it does to other people what it does to the victims and last what it does to the people who get caught doing it. And maybe at some point it will sink in and this will stop,” he says.

Prosecutors say Ryan deserves the lengthy sentence.

The 72-year-old Ryan is tentatively scheduled to start his prison term in January, but may be allowed to stay free pending appeal.

The Latest