George Ryan, the disgraced former governor of Illinois, got a generous serving of compassion yesterday, editorializes the Chicago Tribune. The newspaper calls his 6 1/2 year prison term “soft” in view of his “years of crooked behavior.” Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer will recommend that he go to “one of the federal government’s notorious country clubs” but not until after the Christmas holidays. Ryan’s attorneys are asking that he allowed to be free pending what could be a two-year-long appeal. “What a preposterous, unfair proposition,” the Tribune says.
The Tribune calls the Ryan who addressed Pallmeyer “the same blustery denier he’s been since this investigation and prosecution started to unfold.” Instead of apologizing for his crimes, Ryan said, “I simply didn’t do enough. Should have been more vigilant. Should have been more watchful.” Noting that truckers who bought licenses at issue in the case “were implicated in the vehicular slaughters of nine people,” the Tribune said, “Those nine people aren’t temporarily deprived of their freedom. They don’t get the three hots and a cot that federal prisoners enjoy. They’re dead.”