Former Gov. Ryan faces changed world after prison
CHICAGO – When former Gov. George Ryan steps out of prison today after serving five-plus years for corruption, he will return to a life altered by personal tragedy and to a state altered by his and his three other governors’ legacy of corruption.
Ryan, who is headed to a halfway house in Chicago, will encounter an Illinois that has enacted reforms meant to thwart the kind of wheeling and dealing the Republican was accused of engaging in. The state has also changed because of Ryan’s legal actions as governor: Following his lead, Illinois abolished the death penalty in 2011.
Ryan’s wife and brother died while he was behind bars. And the 78-year-old has lost weight by walking the grounds and doing other exercise at his Terre Haute, Ind., prison, said friend Rob Warden, who visited Ryan a few months ago and has corresponded with him over his years behind bars.