Appeals court again denies ex-Gov. Ryan's release

July 7, 2011

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(WBEZ/Rob Wideboer)
Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan.

An appeals court has denied former Illinois Gov. George Ryan's latest attempt to get out of prison.  It's just one in a string of denials for Ryan from appeals courts, including a 2008 refusal by the U.S. Supreme Court to even hear Ryan's case.

In denying this appeal, Judge Frank Easterbrook wrote, "Ryan's trial lasted eight months, and his appeal led to more than one hundred pages of opinions," by appeals court judges.  Easterbrook said the record shows compellingly that Ryan received substantial payments from private parties during his time as a public official.  And given the evidence, Easterbrook said,  it's an almost inescapable conclusion that the jury found those payments to be bribes.

Ryan's attorneys say they'll ask the 7th circuit appeals court to reconsider its decision and failing that, they'll go to the Supreme Court.

Ryan has served about three and a half years of a six-and-a-half-year sentence.  His wife of 55 years died last week.