Ryan lawyers appeal ex-governor's conviction, again

May 31, 2011

Associated Press

(AP/File)

Lawyers for imprisoned former Illinois Gov. George Ryan are trying again to get part of his conviction overturned. They argued before a three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday that prosecutors didn't prove Ryan took a bribe in violation of honest services laws.

They say any contracts or favors Ryan gave out were based on friendship - not in exchange for gifts and vacations. They say Ryan remains imprisoned unconstitutionally because jurors were told they didn't have to find a specific quid pro quo.

The U.S. Supreme Court later ruled in a different case that the honest services laws were too broad. Prosecutors argue that Ryan's case clearly involved bribery and kickbacks.

Ryan has served 3½ years of a 6½-year sentence for corruption.