Former Governor Speaks Out

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Gov. George Ryan says the United States should be embarrassed by capital punishment.

Ryan spoke out Monday at a conference on violence at Chicago State University.

Calling the death penalty barbaric, Ryan says he thinks life in prison is better punishment.

Ryan is now famous for his criticism of capital punishment. In January he cleared out Illinois' death row by commuting the sentences of all condemned prisoners.

But Ryan stopped short Monday of calling for an outright abolition of the death penalty.

He says he wants to see what the now Democratic-controlled state Senate does with recommendations to overhaul Illinois' capital punishment system.