Lura Lynn's illness may not help Ryan's appeal
Lura Lynn Ryan is expected to undergo a biopsy of the liver sometime this week. Her doctors couldn't do the test when they discovered she has lung cancer last week because she was on blood thinners.
Doctors say she may only have three to six months to live, but her ill health may not have that much sway on whether her husband is released from prison. Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan's attorneys want some of his convictions thrown out because they rely on the so-called honest services statute, parts of which the U.S. Supreme Court have found to be unconstitutional.
Ryan's lawyers have asked a judge to release him on bail while his petition is considered.
Mrs. Ryan's illness gives that request some added urgency, but attorney Jeff Steinback, who's worked on a lot of high-profile cases, says it won't be the primary consideration.
He says, in deciding whether to release Ryan on bail, the judge will be focussed on how likely it is that Ryan's appeal will be successful, whether his convictions will actually be overturned.
"No judge wants to see an individual do what's known as dead time, or time they wouldn't have to do otherwise if they were successful," said Steinback.
Ryan is not challenging all the counts he was convicted on. But if he can get some of them thrown out, then he'd likely be re-sentenced to less time, and his attorneys hope he would be released immediately. He's already served three years of his six and a-half-year sentence.