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Gov. Ryan Attorneys: No Bribe, No Crime

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Former Illinois Governor George Ryan is hoping a recent Supreme Court ruling will help him get out of prison.

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court limited the so called honest services statute. It’s one of the laws Ryan was convicted of breaking but the governor’s lawyers say with the new limitations, he couldn’t be convicted on that today. They say the evidence showed that at most, in making official decisions, Ryan may have favored friends who had done favors for him, but he never took a bribe. They say the honest services law requires a bribe which is narrowly defined as an agreement where a public official takes money in return for doing a specific state action.

So for example, Ryan took annual vacations to Jamaica where he stayed at the home of a friend. He then took governmental actions that helped that friend’s business but Ryan’s attorneys say it was all just favors, there was no agreement, therefore there was no bribe. And no bribe, no crime.

Ryan’s attorneys are asking judge Rebecca Pallmeyer to reconsider his six and a half year sentence. So far, he’s served almost three years.

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