WBEZ | former governor http://www.wbez.org/tags/former-governor Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Prosecutors dismissing 3 charges in Blagojevich case http://www.wbez.org/story/news/criminal-justice/prosecutors-dismissing-3-charges-blagojevich-case <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/AP05051105066- Seth Perlman.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Federal prosecutors are dismissing three of the charges against former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.&nbsp; The charges are counts 1, 2, and four, racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, and wire fraud.&nbsp; Blagojevich attorney Sheldon Sorosky welcomes the news.&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;We're thankful.&nbsp; I think it shows the government believes he's innocent.&nbsp; That's why a prosecutor drops charges,&quot; said Sorosky.<br /><br />Another reason a prosecutor would drop the charges is because it makes the whole case stronger.&nbsp; After Blagojevich's trial last summer jurors complained that the case was too confusing and they were deadlocked on 23 of the 24 counts though they did convict Blagojevich on one count of lying to the FBI.<br /><br />This time around, prosecutors say they want to streamline their case as well as the instructions jurors take back with them into the jury room for deliberations.&nbsp; The instructions for racketeering are particularly lengthy and may have complicated deliberations.<br /><br />Blagojevich still faces 20 counts on wire fraud, extortion, and bribery at his retrial scheduled to start April 20th.</p></p> Wed, 23 Feb 2011 23:01:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/news/criminal-justice/prosecutors-dismissing-3-charges-blagojevich-case Ryan to seek clemency from the president http://www.wbez.org/story/cancer/ryan-denied-freedom <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/george ryan court_0.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Former Illinois Governor George Ryan's plea for freedom to spend time with his terminally ill wife has been denied.&nbsp; Ryan had been secretly allowed to visit his wife last Wednesday in a Kankakee hospital.</p><p>In a one-page ruling Monday, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals&nbsp;rejected an emergency motion filed by Ryan attorneys last Wednesday&nbsp;after Lura Lynn Ryan was rushed to intensive care.&nbsp;The ruling says Ryan hasn't met standards that allows for his&nbsp;release. It also says only federal prison officials can decide if&nbsp;Ryan should be let out for longer periods on compassionate grounds.</p><p>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.</p><p>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, &quot;exacted a stiff penalty not only for himself, but also his family.&quot;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 10 Jan 2011 22:59:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/cancer/ryan-denied-freedom