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George Ryan Among Contenders for Nobel Peace Prize

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Former Ill. Gov. George Ryan

By Bill Wheelhouse, IL Public Radio

Springfield, Ill. – The winner of the Nobel Peace Prize will be named Friday in Sweden. Those who keep tabs on the finalists say former Illinois Governor George Ryan is among those under consideration.

It was one of Ryan's final acts in office that has led to his nomination. He commuted the sentence of all 167 death row inmates, saying at the time the capital punishment system was "haunted by the demon of error."

Since leaving office in January, Ryan has traveled the world speaking out against the death penalty. An Australian oddsmaker lists Ryan's odds of winning at 12:1.

The oddsmaker lists the Pope at 5:2 odds, former Czech President Vaclav Havel at 7:1, and the leader of Brazil, Luiz Ianacio Lula da Silva at 10:1. U2 lead singer Bono, who's known for his work fighting AIDS in Africa and trying to get debt relief for impoverished nations, has 16:1 odds.

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