Ryan to seek clemency from the president

January 10, 2011

By City Room the Associated Press

(Getty Images)

Former Illinois Governor George Ryan's plea for freedom to spend time with his terminally ill wife has been denied.  Ryan had been secretly allowed to visit his wife last Wednesday in a Kankakee hospital.

In a one-page ruling Monday, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected an emergency motion filed by Ryan attorneys last Wednesday after Lura Lynn Ryan was rushed to intensive care. The ruling says Ryan hasn't met standards that allows for his release. It also says only federal prison officials can decide if Ryan should be let out for longer periods on compassionate grounds.

Ryan's attorney, former Illinois Gov. Jim Thompson, said he'll submit a written request to the White House within the next few days. Thompson said he'll ask President Barack Obama to commute Ryan's sentence to his three years already served.

Last month, the federal judge overseeing Ryan's case denied an appeal from his lawyers, saying Ryan's six and a half year sentence for receiving kickbacks while in office, "exacted a stiff penalty not only for himself, but also his family."