Blagojevich: Bush Should Pardon Former Governor Ryan

Gov. Blagojevich, who for years has blasted corruption under his predecessor, George Ryan, said Thursday "it would be a good decision" for President Bush to let the 74-year-old Ryan out of prison early.

"I always err on the side of compassion," Blagojevich said during a Thanksgiving visit to the Chicago Christian Industrial League on the West Side.

Blagojevich, a Democrat, said Ryan, a Republican, has already served a significant amount of time behind bars.

"I think people make mistakes. George Ryan has paid a significant price for those mistakes. And if President Bush makes that decision, I think it would be a fine decision," Blagojevich explained. "He's a man well into his 70s. Mrs. Ryan is in her 70s and in frail health.

"So if the president makes that decision, I think it would be a good decision."

Ryan, imprisoned in Terre Haute, Ind., began serving a six-year sentence in November 2007 after his federal racketeering and fraud conviction.

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