Former Gov. George Ryan, who was released from probation after a five-year stint in federal prison earlier this month, is making the rounds.
Sneed is told that Ryan is doing political consulting work, fielding offers to do political commentary, appearing on TV, working on his book and embarking on a national push to end the death penalty.
“It’s bad law and my goal is to help abolish the death penalty nationwide,” he told Sneed. “The grisly prolonged execution by lethal drugs of the prisoner in Arizona recently — who repeatedly gasped for nearly two hours before he finally died — is as insane as the killing of the prisoner’s victim.”
“The death penalty is almost like flipping a coin to see who will live or die,” said Ryan, who claims there were 25 people on death row when he was governor.
“Twelve got executed and 13 were exonerated . . . and there were plenty of chances for error along the way,” he said.
Ryan also claims that, in the long run, the death penalty winds up costing the taxpayers more than a life sentence in a maximum-security facility — once you parse the legal costs and special privileges affixed to the appeals process — as well as the chance for error as the case travels from its inception, investigation and appeal, he said.
“Life in maximum security in prison is miserable — and I think worse than the death penalty in the long run,” Ryan said.
“The U.S. has no business executing people. We are in pretty bad company internationally when you consider Iraq, Iran and China all do it,” he added.