FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – January 30, 2007.
Former Illinois Governor George Ryan Nominated For The 2007 Nobel Peace Prize
University of Illinois College of Law Professor Francis A. Boyle has nominated former Illinois Governor George Ryan
for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize because of his courageous and heroic opposition to the death penalty system in
Despite tremendous opposition and criticism, Ryan single-handedly started what he calls a "rational discussion" on capital punishment
in 2000 when he declared the
To this day, despite paying a heavy personal price for his courage, integrity, and principles, Ryan remains committed
to the principle of seeking justice for the poor and oppressed.
Ryan now takes his message globally, recently speaking
before the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in
of capital punishment around the world.
Directly because of Ryan's imposed 2000 moratorium, a tidal wave of change has gained momentum in the
Death sentences are at a 30-year low, while the number of executions has dropped to a 10-year-low. And for the first time
in two decades, more Americans now support life sentences over death as the proper punishment for capital crimes.
the use of capital punishment.
The American Bar Association has also now declared that there should be a blanket moratorium on all executions
As Governor Ryan exposed to the country in 2000, the burden of capital punishment consistently falls upon the poor, the ignorant
and the forgotten underpriviledged members of society, and is often used as a racist institution against people of color.
as former Governor of Illinois. Ryan exposed capital punishment to be a distorted means of justice rife with flaws and defects, and he began the dialogue that will one day abolish capital punishment in
Professor Francis A. Boyle has stated that, "George Ryan is the beginning of the end of the death penalty in
and it is for this reason that he richly deserves to win the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
Joining him on the nomination papers were Chicago Attorneys Karen Conti, Greg Adamski and Jerome Boyle.