Illinois ex-Governor Ryan released after five years home confinement

CHICAGO Wed Jul 3, 2013 1:12pm EDT

Former Illinois Governor George Ryan gives a statement after being found guilty in his corruption trial in the federal court in Chicago in this April 17, 2006 file photo. REUTERS/Stephen J. Carrera/Files

Former Illinois Governor George Ryan gives a statement after being found guilty in his corruption trial in the federal court in Chicago in this April 17, 2006 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Stephen J. Carrera/Files

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CHICAGO (Reuters) - Former Illinois Governor George Ryan was released Wednesday morning from home confinement, after serving more than five years on corruption charges.

Ryan, 79, now must spend a year under court supervision.

On January 30, Ryan was released from federal prison to home confinement, allowed to leave home only for pre-approved appointments, according to Federal Bureau of Prisons spokesman Chris Burke.

Ryan, a Republican, was convicted in 2006 of racketeering, conspiracy, fraud and other offenses involving favoritism and kickbacks for state contracts and property leases. He went to prison in November of 2007.

The scandal involving Ryan paved the way for Democrats to regain the Illinois governor's seat for the first time in a quarter century with Rod Blagojevich's election in 2002. In 2011, Blagojevich was convicted of corruption, and is serving a 14-year prison term.

Ryan had been nominated several times for a Nobel Peace Prize because of his opposition to the death penalty. He imposed a moratorium on executions in Illinois after 13 death row inmates were found to have been wrongly convicted. Illinois has since abolished the death penalty.

(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski; Editing by Greg McCune and David Gregorio)

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