01/02/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

GOP Rep. Kirk Opposes Ryan Clemency Push

Rejecting an idea endorsed by two top Democrats, Republican North Shore Rep. Mark Kirk sent a letter to the White House today asking President George Bush not to commute the federal corruption sentence of former Republican Gov. George Ryan.

The letter's terse subject matter refers to the former governor, incarcerated at the federal correctional facility in Terre Haute, Ind., as "Federal Inmate Number 16627-424."

"George Ryan betrayed the public trust, was convicted beyond the shadow of a doubt by a jury of his peers and lost all of his appeals. His crimes struck at the fabric of our democracy and invited a new wave of public corruption in Illinois," Kirk wrote.

"If we are to stop corruption at the highest levels and restore the public's trust, then this prisoner should serve as similar criminals who cannot hope that political favor can adjust their sentence," he wrote. "Today, as U.S. Attorney (Patrick) Fitzgerald investigates and prosecutes further allegations of public corruption in Springfield, I urge you not to embolden the corrupt and criminal by pardoning or commuting George Ryan's sentence."

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