Former Illinois Governor Is Denied Appeal, Stays in Prison
Posted on May 28, 2008
The fraud and racketeering case against former Illinois Gov. George Ryan has come to an end after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected his final request to appeal his 2006 conviction. With no other move to make, Ryan, who has been incarcerated since late 2007, will likely seek a commutation of his six-year sentence from President Bush.
The New York Times:
The United States Supreme Court announced Tuesday that it would not hear an appeal by former Gov. George Ryan of Illinois of his 2006 racketeering and fraud conviction.
The decision ended the judicial process for Mr. Ryan, and hours later his lawyer said he would probably seek a commutation from President Bush of what is left of his more-than-six-year federal prison sentence.
The lawyer, James R. Thompson (also a former Illinois governor), said any larger purpose in the conviction and sentence of Mr. Ryan, 74, had been served. “The man has gone from being the governor of the state of Illinois to being a prisoner in a federal penitentiary,” Mr. Thompson said, later adding: “His career is gone. His reputation is gone.”
Mr. Ryan, a Republican, was governor for one four-year term that ended in 2003 with a federal investigation looming. In 2006, he was convicted of corruption that federal prosecutors described as a “mutating virus” among politicians in Illinois. He was accused of putting taxpayers’ money toward campaign work, lying to federal agents and handing out contracts to friends in exchange for gifts for himself and his family. He went to prison last November.
George Ryan first came to national prominence when he acted in 2000 to commute the death sentences of all Illinois prisoners.