Jailed Governor Ryan Wants Conviction Changed

Lawyers call sentence "unlawful"

By Lacey McCraney
|  Wednesday, Sep 1, 2010  |  Updated 8:03 AM CDT
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Lawyers for Ex-Governor George Ryan, who is serving a 6 1/2 year prison sentence for corruption, think their client should go free  --immediately.

Ryan's defense attorneys Dan Webb and former governor James Thompson say parts of the conviction against Republican George Ryan should be thrown out because of a Supreme Court decision in the case of former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling that essentially shot down the Honest Services statute the Daily Herald reports.

They say Ryan's verdict was based on conduct the Supreme Court found not to be criminal in the Skilling case and some of the former governor's sentence should be deemed "unlawful". The Supreme Court ruling also helped former Hollinger International, Inc. Chairman Conrad Black's case.

Webb and Thompson feel if Ryan's racketeering and mail fraud convictions are voided, he should be freed immediately because he has already completed those portions of his sentence.

The pair is also arguing to have Ryan released from prison while U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer looks at the case. They say he doesn't pose a flight risk.

Ryan, 76, was convicted in April 2006 of violations of the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and mail fraud. He has been in federal prison since November 2007 and is currently at a facility in Terre Haute, Indiana

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