Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bastard of the Day

Senator Dick Durbin is a bastard for even thinking of asking for a commuted sentence for that hopelessly corrupt former governor of ours, George Ryan. In 2006, Ryan was convicted on 18 counts of corruption and sentenced to 6-1/2 years in the pen. He's been incarcerated for little more than a year, but Durbin apparently thinks that's enough:
"His family name has been damaged," Durbin said. "He has, at an advanced moment of his life, been removed from his family. He has lost the economic security which most people count on at his age. And he is separate from his wife at a time when she is in frail health. To say that he has paid a price for his wrongdoing, he certainly has. And the question is whether continued imprisonment is appropriate at this point."
First of all, any damage to his family name cannot compare to the damage to the families of those killed by unqualified truck drivers who stuffed cash in Ryan's hole to get their licenses.

Second, what is this crap about losing "economic security"? If Ryan hadn't squandered all of his savings trying to defend his corrupt ass in court, he'd still have that security. And how would freeing him make any difference in that respect? If he's broke, he's better off in prison where he doesn't need money to live. If he gets out, what is he going to do, be a Wal-Mart greeter? I wouldn't trust him in a job handling cash.

Third, sorry about his wife, but what kind of reason is that to let him out? Do we routinely set criminals free because of a "frail" family member? Would we commute the sentence of a gang leader so he could take care of his aging mother? Why does Ryan deserve special treatment?

Yes, Ryan has "paid a price." But the law doesn't say criminals must pay "a price" -- it says they should pay whatever and however the court decides (although policies like "good behavior" let them off easy). Can I mail in $5 for a $75 speeding ticket and argue that I "paid a price" and shouldn't owe a penny more? Durbin shows a wanton disregard for the criminal justice system with such reasoning.

Finally, why should Ryan -- or any other criminal -- get off essentially for being old? It isn't like he has spent decades behind bars and now he's a changed man; it's been less than 13 months. It took many years for the scumbag to be exposed and prosecuted -- years when he lived not only as a free man, but as governor of our state being paid with our tax dollars. Heck, if Ryan had been caught while he was still secretary of state, he would have finished serving his sentence years ago. Now Durbin thinks we should set him free because he's old. Well, plenty of old scoundrels languish in prison, and there's no reason Ryan shouldn't be one of them.

Maybe Ryan should have thought about all of the above before he committed the crimes that landed him in the joint. I mean, 18 counts -- that's not a careless, isolated slip-up, that's a culture of corruption.
But three former federal prosecutors who prosecuted Ryan in the licenses-for-bribes scandal said they opposed executive clemency for the former governor and noted he has never accepted responsibility for committing a crime. [emphasis added]
Excellent point. The man won't even admit he screwed up. Sit and rot, Ryan. Durbin, you should be ashamed of yourself.

I've generally supported the work Durbin has done in the U.S. Senate, but if he had floated this trial balloon a month ago, I probably would have voted for his opponent.

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