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Illinois ex-Governor Ryan released after five years confinement

By Mary Wisniewski

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Former Illinois Governor George Ryan was released Wednesday morning from home confinement, after serving more than five years in prison on corruption charges.

Ryan, 79, now must spend a year under court supervision.

On January 30, Ryan was released from federal prison to home confinement, allowed to leave home only for pre-approved appointments, according to Federal Bureau of Prisons spokesman Chris Burke.

Ryan, a Republican, was convicted in 2006 of racketeering, conspiracy, fraud and other offenses involving favoritism and kickbacks for state contracts and property leases. He went to prison in November of 2007.

The scandal involving Ryan paved the way for Democrats to regain the Illinois governor's seat for the first time in a quarter century with Rod Blagojevich's election in 2002. In 2011, Blagojevich was convicted of corruption, and is serving a 14-year prison term.

Ryan had been nominated several times for a Nobel Peace Prize because of his opposition to the death penalty. He imposed a moratorium on executions in Illinois after 13 death row inmates were found to have been wrongly convicted. Illinois has since abolished the death penalty.

(This story corrects headline to remove "home" since Ryan served more than five years in prison; inserts "in prison" in paragraph one)

(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski; Editing by Greg McCune and David Gregorio)

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