FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - JANUARY 21, 2009
George H. Ryan is nominated for the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize
Francis A. Boyle, long-standing Professor of International Law and Human Rights, has nominated retired Illinois Governor George H. Ryan for the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.
George Ryan's courageous opposition to the death penalty initiated the groundwork for the Moratorium Movement when in the year 2000 he declared the Illinois death penalty moratorium, the first in this country.
The moratorium placed on all executions by the United States Supreme Court in 2007 can directly be attributed to Ryan's principled vision and tireless work to guarantee human rights by abolishing the death penalty both in the United States and around the world.
Although the monumental development of a moratorium was a short-lived reality, the number of death sentences and the number of executions carried out in this country have reached a historical low, and has given promise to the end of the death penalty in the United States -- all thanks to the inspired and driven dedication of one man, retired Illinois Governor George H. Ryan.
In the US 37 executions took place in 2008, marking a 14-year low and continuing a downward trend that began in 2000.
95% of all executions occurred in the South in 2008; 49% were in one state - Texas.
As stated by Professor Boyle, "George Ryan is the beginning of the end of the death penalty in America. Thanks to George Ryan, the death penalty is on its last legs here in the United States. It is up to the rest of us to kill it off!"
FOR INFORMATION CONTACT:
Francis A. Boyle
504 E. Pennsylvania Ave.
Champaign, IL 61820