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What George Ryan said on his sentencing day

George Ryan

George Ryan

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Updated: April 30, 2012 10:08AM

Legal observers say Rod Blagojevich needs to apologize if he has any hope of getting leniency while prosecutors ask for up to 20 years in prison.

Here’s how another former governor — George Ryan — handled apologizing while he still vigorously fought for years to overturn his conviction.

Ryan was convicted of steering contracts and leases to his friends while he was in office, and then taking gifts, vacations and cash in return.

“When they elected me as the governor of this state, they expected better, and I let them down. For that, I apologize,” Ryan said in 2006.

“The result deeply pains me. Without question, this is the saddest day of my life. I should have been more vigilant. I should have been more watchful. I should have been a lot of things, I guess. But I obviously failed.”

U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer sentenced Ryan to 6 1/2 years in prison.

Natasha Korecki

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