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Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan released from prison

8:25 AM, Jan 30, 2013   |    comments
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CHICAGO (AP) - Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan has been released from prison after serving more than five years for corruption.

The 78-year-old Republican arrived at a halfway house in Chicago early Wednesday after his release the federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind.

Ryan qualified for early release five months before his term officially ended.

As governor, Ryan drew national attention by deeming the state's capital punishment laws flawed and emptying death row in 2003. That reignited a nationwide debate and eventually led Illinois to abolish its death penalty in 2011.

Jurors convicted Ryan in 2006 of steering state business to insiders in return for vacations and gifts.

Ryan's release means Rod Blagojevich is now the lone former Illinois governor behind bars. The Democrat is serving a 14-year sentence for corruption.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

AP

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