Monthly Archives: January 2003

Dawn of a New Day

Posted by Eric Francis

George Homer Ryan, Sr. was the 39th Governor of the U.S. state of Illinois from 1999 until 2003.

It would seem, however, that the eastern sky and the state’s troubled conscience had grown lighter 48 hours earlier, when then-Gov. George Ryan cleared out death row, saving the lives of 167 inmates who had come through the deeply-flawed Illinois capital punishment system. All but a few of these prisoners had their sentences commuted to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole; some objected. Illinois is a state where the governor has sweeping powers of clemency, and his decision is not subject to appeal or judicial review.