Facebook Twitter

Judge orders former guv to explain 4 pardons

SHARE Judge orders former guv to explain 4 pardons

CHICAGO (AP) — Former Gov. George Ryan must explain in court why he pardoned four death row inmates who are now suing a group of Chicago police officers.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Geraldine Soat Brown ordered Ryan to sit for depositions before Sept. 30.

Ryan, who used his pardon and commutation powers to empty death row before he left office in 2003, objected to the subpoena and claimed "executive privilege."

Brown noted in her ruling Thursday that Ryan discussed the pardons during an appearance on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" with three of the plaintiffs.

"Having voluntarily agreed to respond publicly to questions from a talk show host on the basis for his decision . . . Ryan cannot now claim a privilege to refuse to give testimony in a civil case on that same topic," Brown wrote.