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Ex-Illinois Governor Returns, Talks Death Penalty

Ex-Illinois Governor Returns, Talks Death Penalty

Photo: Newsradio WTAX

A former Illinois governor who’s also now an ex-convict says he would like to re-engage with the campaign to end the death penalty in the U.S.

George Ryan became a champion to those who opposed capital punishment in 2003 when he commuted all of Illinois’ death sentences to life in prison just before leaving office. In 2011, Illinois abolished capital punishment.

Ryan was released from prison last year after serving more than five years for multiple corruption convictions. His post-prison supervised release ended this week.

He spoke in an hourlong interview with The Associated Press at his kitchen table in Kankakee, south of Chicago.

He urged other states to follow Illinois’ example and abolish the death penalty altogether and added that “Americans should come to their senses.”

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