Blago Joins Let George Out Chorus

Current governor says ex-guv should be granted clemency

Add him to the list. Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who has his own set of legal concerns swirling around, said Thursday he thinks President George W. Bush should show compassion and commute the federal prison sentence of former Gov. George Ryan.

During a Thanksgiving Day photo op at the Chicago Christian Industrial League, Blagojevich said Ryan had already paid "a significant price."

The govenor's announcement comes on the heals of an official clemency request by Ryan attorney, Jim Thompson, on Tuesday. That's the same day Illinois senator Dick Durbin told reporters he was 'considering' intervening on the former governor's behalf.

Ryan's wife, Lura Lynn, has also made handwritten pleas to President Bush.

"I was hoping by Christmas," she told the Sun-Times earlier this week about her husband coming home. "I'm hoping that may happen. I don't want to get my hopes up too high."

Ryan is serving a 6 1/2-year sentence for racketeering and other offenses. The one-term Republican governor steered state leases and contracts to cronies, killed a bribery investigation and used state resources to run his political campaigns.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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