January 12, 2003


TRAVESTY: I don't think it is much of an exageration to say that outgoing Illinois Governor George Ryan is an evil person. I would say on a human-decency scale, he falls below both Clintons. That he was the first American Governor to do a photo-op with Castro is entirely appropriate.

Ryan may think that emptying death row is somehow a penance for his various misdeeds. (N.B.: Mark Brown's reference to "the Willis family, what's left of it" refers to six children who burned to death in an accident involving an unqualified trucker who got his license during the licenses-for-bribes scandal when Ryan was the Secretary of State, which is the office where driver's licenses are handled in Illinois.) In fact, the corruption and scandals and the anti-death penalty activism are all very much of a piece. To the victim's families, Ryan says, we don't care about your son, your daughter, your mother, your father; their extinguished lives are less important than the lives of their murderers.

Ryan is expected to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for his callous and capricious subversion of the rule of law. If he wins, he'll be very much at home alongside another friend of Castro's, Laureate Jimmy Carter, and a friend of Carter's, Laureate Yasser Arafat.

Posted by John Tabin at January 12, 2003 01:13 AM