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Report: Ryan Didn’t Fully Understand Pardons

Former Illinois Governor George Ryan speaks to the news media at the federal courthouse following a verdict of guilty on all counts in his corruption trial April 17, 2006  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Former Illinois Governor George Ryan speaks to the news media at the federal courthouse following a verdict of guilty on all counts in his corruption trial April 17, 2006 (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (WBBM/CBS) – Recently released tapes indicate that now-imprisoned former Gov. George didn’t fully understand the pardon process.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports, Ryan pardoned more than 200 people when he was in office, but in a recently-released court deposition indicates he did not understand the difference between a general pardon and an innocence pardon, according to a Monday Chicago Sun-Times report.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s Bernie Tafoya reports

A general pardon forgives a crime but keeps it on convict’s record, while an innocence pardon clears the crime from a convict’s record and allows him or her to sue for wrongful conviction.

Ryan is known around the world for clearing Illinois’ death row in 2003, and imposing a moratorium on the death penalty after the exoneration of more than a dozen inmates set for execution.

The tapes came from a 2010 deposition taken from Ryan in prison.

Ryan was answering a series of questions on why he pardoned Oscar Walden Jr., a man who was wrongfully convicted of a 1951 rape and who at the time was suing the city in federal court on police torture allegations. Walden lost the lawsuit.

Ryan had given Walden an innocence deposition, even though Gov. James Thompson had given him the other kind years before.