Lura Lynn Ryan in intensive care

January 5, 2011

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Attorneys for former Illinois Gov. George Ryan are trying once again to get him out of federal prison. They say Ryan wants to be with his dying wife, Lura Lynn Ryan, who is in intensive care at a Kankakee hospital Thursday morning.

Ryan's attorney, former Gov. James Thompson, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Ryan's family has been called to Lura Lynn's side.

He says an emergency motion has been filed in federal court to allow George Ryan to be released from prison so he can join his wife of 50 years.

Thompson says attorneys have also appealed to prison authorities to release Ryan under a program that enables inmates temporary leave to visit gravely ill family members.

Lura Lynn Ryan was admitted to the hospital Wednesday after apparent complications from chemotherapy. According to the court motion, the 76-year-old Lura Lynn Ryan has been diagnosed with an incurable cancer of the lungs, back, pelvis, ribs and liver. The motion said she is being treated with morphine to cut down on pain, but she has, at most, weeks to live.

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."