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Ryan Asks For Release Again

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Sep 9, 2010 5:40PM

As we wait to see if one former governor will ever go to jail for corruption, another who's already serving time is, once again, asking to be let out. Citing the failing health of his terminally ill wife and this year's Supreme Court decision on the Honest Services law, jailed former governor George Ryan has asked the federal judge who presided over his trial for a release.

In dismissing the conviction of former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling, the Supreme Court called the law vague and found that bribery and kickbacks must be involved for the law to be used.

[Ryan attorney Dan] Webb told Pallmeyer that the finding should undo a portion of the Ryan case and that the former governor already has served the time he would receive for his other convictions, including filing a false tax return.

Federal prosecutors have already voiced their opposition to the request; Judge Pallmeyer has set a deadline of October 7 for prosecutors to respond and a hearing date of November 1. Said Webb, "George Ryan is now in prison serving time for something that the United States Supreme Court has said is not a crime. In the closing argument that was given by the prosecutor in this case, the prosecutor told the jury that the jury does not have to find that there's any bribes or kickbacks whatsoever in order to convict on the mail fraud statute."