Former Illinois Governor George Ryan received bleak news today as the United States Supreme Court refused to hear his appeal. According to the Sun-Times:
Ryan was convicted in April 2006 of steering contracts to lobbyists and other friends, tax fraud, misuse of tax dollars and state workers and squelching an investigation of links between bribery and fundraising.
He was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison.
Earlier today, former Illinois Governor Jim Thompson announced that he would ask President George W. Bush to commute Ryan’s sentence, thereby releasing Ryan, who has been in prison since last fall.
Ryan is 74-years-old. He would be eligible for a 15 percent reduction in his sentence for good behavior.
I don’t know what the president is going to do. Bush has nothing to gain from this, and he has nothing left to lose. He already commuted the sentence of I. Lewis ”Scooter” Libby, Vice President Cheney’s former chief of staff. Would he do a solid for another convicted member of the GOP?
I suspect he might.
Bush may decide to wait until the 11th hour and commute Ryan’s sentence on January 19, 2009. There are justice issues to contend with, but Bush doesn’t seem to have much of a passion for justice, nor does he demonstrate any deep understanding of or respect for Constitutional law.
Of course, Ryan could be out by Saturday and working as a consultant for Halliburton by Monday.