KANKAKEE - Former Gov. George Ryan told The Daily Journal on Wednesday that he regrets letting the execution of the last person in Illinois proceed before he placed a moratorium on capital punishment.
In 1999, then-Gov. Ryan refused calls to stop the execution of Andrew Kokoraleis, who was convicted in the 1982 rape, kidnapping and murder of a 21-year-old Elmhurst woman, Lorraine Borowski.
Referring to Kokoraleis, the 80-year-old Ryan said, "I regretted killing that Greek fella."
However, Ryan expressed no regret for the six Willis children who were killed in a tragic car accident that was the direct result of the illegal sale of drivers licenses while he was Secretary of State.
Ryan was eventually tried on a number of charges, including the illegal sale of government licenses, contracts and leases. He was defended pro bono by Winston & Strawn, a law firm managed by another former governor Jim Thompson.
All told, seventy-nine former state officials, lobbyists, and others have been since charged, and at least 76 have been convicted.