- The federal judge who sentenced former Gov. George Ryan to 61/2 years in prison in 2006 refused Tuesday to release him early from custody, saying that while she was saddened by his wife's terminal illness, Ryan was to blame for his own plight.
Ryan's wrongdoing "has exacted a stiff penalty not only for himself but also for his family," U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer concluded near the end of her 58-page ruling.
Coming a few days before Christmas, the decision is a bitter blow for Ryan's family. The former governor's son and namesake, George Ryan Jr., paused to keep his composure as he started to address more than a dozen reporters and photographers in front of the family's Kankakee home and then in a shaky voice ripped the ruling as "heartless and cruel."
"Is this what American justice is now?" he said.
Why, yes, yes it is.