Gov. Ryan Pardons Four Men on Death Row

Chicago, IL – Illinois Governor George Ryan today pardoned four death row inmates and condemned the state's criminal justice system for sending innocent men to prison to be executed.

Ryan announced at DePaul University that he is pardoning Madison Hobley, Stanley Howard, Aaron Patterson and Leroy Orange.

Ryan, who leaves office Monday, said he will announce tomorrow whether he will grant requests to commute the sentences of about 140 other death row inmates to life in prison.

Hobley was released from prison today and Patterson and Orange were expected to be released later today. Howard will remain in
prison because he was convicted of a separate crime.

Cook County State's Attorney Dick Devine says the pardons are "outrageous and unconscionable."