Francis A. Boyle, a professor of International Law and Human Rights, has nominated Ryan for the 2009 prize. It's the sixth time Boyle has nominated Ryan.
Ryan declared a moratorium on executions in Illinois in 2000. He was convicted on corruption charges in 2007 and is serving six and a half years in federal prison.
Boyle believes the death penalty will be abolished in the United States. He credits Ryan for creating the first state moratorium on capital punishment.