Former Gov. Ryan Gives First Interviews Since Release From Prison

July 02, 2014

Former Gov. George Ryan says among his regrets in life is letting the execution of the last person in Illinois proceed before he placed a moratorium on capital punishment.

Ryan spoke to The Daily Journal in Kankakee in an interview posted online Wednesday. It was among his first interviews since his release from prison in 2013 for corruption convictions.
 
In 1999, then-Gov. Ryan refused calls to stop the execution of Andrew Kokoraleis. He was convicted in the 1982 rape, kidnapping and murder of a 21-year-old Elmhurst woman, Lorraine Borowski.
 
A year after the execution, Ryan declared the moratorium. Citing flaws in the system, he the cleared death row in 2003.
 
Referring to Kokoraleis, the 80-year-old Ryan said, "I regretted killing that Greek fella.''

The former governor has finished a year of supervision following his release from home confinement last summer after a prison sentence for corruption convictions.
 
Ryan was released from prison in January 2013 and was confined to his home until last July.

At the time, his lawyer and friend former Gov. Jim Thompson said that Ryan was subject to another year of supervision and some travel restrictions. That ends this week.
 
Ryan also spoke to the Chicago Sun-Times in a story published Wednesday, offering some details of his time in prison and since being released.

He says some prison guards "made things a little rough'' because they were not happy with his decision as governor to put a moratorium on the death penalty. 

Story source: AP