Special treatment for George Ryan?

So former Illinois governor George Ryan was allowed to leave prison and visit his dying wife for a couple of hours. There is a lot of controversy surrounding his multiple requests for temporary release, with some calling it special treatment.

I don't see any reason to be outraged at the two-hour hospital visit. Most non-violent offenders will be allowed to leave prison temporarily to visit the deathbed of a loved one or attend a funeral. Sometimes the prisoner or their family will be required to pay for expense of transporting them where they need to go. George Ryan was driven several hours to where his wife is in the hospital. It's not necessarily preferential treatment or a sign of leniency. It's a routine request.

I'm not naïve. These requests might be granted more readily in high-profile cases. But it doesn't really have anything to do with his crimes, his conviction or his sentence. It's not like he was released indefinitely or allowed to spend days or weeks with his family, although his lawyers asked the court for a longer release. His request was denied.

Is the former governor getting special treatment? Not on this issue, but I'm sure it's not over yet.



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  • I don't think anyone is outraged by the two hour visit. I don't think anyone would even be outraged by the "serve your time in Kankakee County prison" suggestion, either.

    People should be properly outraged that Thompson keeps saying that the "honest services law" ruling is a get out of jail free card, when it never was, and now that Obama should step into this cesspool. Pallmayer went to great length to show that that was not the case; the 7th Circuit one page order was sufficient in that regard.

    In addition, people should be outraged that Thompson played the "the government disclosed the visit so as to prejudice our request for bail" card, when everyone else says that Thompson knew before the hearing that Ryan was at the hospital, even if they didn't tell Thompson before transporting Ryan.

    Why Thompson wants to get into bed with Ryan, and destroy his reputation as a machine busting U.S. Attorney is beyond me. He must know better. It is like reading tomorrow that Patrick Fitzgerald has a common law marriage with Patti Mell (assuming that the latter is not waiting for her hubby to get out of jail).

  • I just can't believe ANY prisoner is allowed to leave for ANY reason. I guess the people in charge are far more compassionate than I am. I wish people doing the crime actually DO the time. Hard I know.

  • In reply to jtithof:

    Prison authorities have always given compassionate leave to attend a relative's funeral, for instance, so long as the prisoner was under guard.

    Someone said in the Daily Herald that about 69% of the respondents in a poll said Ryan should be given compassionate leave, not knowing that he already had been. That was one of the bases for my third paragraph.

  • In reply to jtithof:

    My issue with this is that the family who lost their 6 children in a horrific firey crash didn't get to say goodbye to them while they watched them burn. All because Ryan sold that drivers license to the driver who couldn't pass the exam. I'm sure Ryan and his wife enjoyed a nice night out on the town with the money they got from selling that license. So, I personally feel that if you decide to do the crime, you need to do the time.

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