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George Ryan again nominated for Nobel Prize
By John Patterson | Senior State Government Editor

Former Gov. George Ryan

 

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Published: 1/6/2010 4:21 PM

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SPRINGFIELD - Former Gov. George Ryan, now sitting in a federal prison cell, has again been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by an outspoken death penalty opponent.

University of Illinois law professor Francis Boyle said Wednesday he'd forwarded Ryan's name to the Nobel committee based on Ryan's halting of executions in Illinois.

"I said, look, if you want to get rid of the death penalty in America ... then you give the Nobel Peace Prize to Ryan," Boyle said.

Boyle has annually nominated Ryan for the prize. Ryan is currently incarcerated at a federal prison in Indiana, serving time for corruption convictions stemming from his using his public offices to enrich his family and friends.

Boyle said Ryan's incarceration "enhances" his chances of winning.

And he noted that unlike President Barack Obama, there'd be no questions as to what Ryan had done to deserve the award.

"At least George Ryan personally saved the lives of 167 people on death row," said Boyle, referring to Ryan's switching every death sentence to live in prison shortly before leaving office in 2003.

Nobel recipients are announced in October.