Ex-Gov Ryan's Lawyers Seek Appeal
George Ryans formidable legal team returns to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals with new hope of seeing him released early. NBC 5 Charlie Wojciechowski reports.
Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan's attorneys, Friday, began new arguments in front of the7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to contest Ryan's conviction on a series of corruption charges that may be void.
Last July, the appeals court denied Ryan's appeal claiming he should be released following a Supreme Court ruling on honest services that affect his case. The appellate court upheld the former governor's corruption convictions. Ryan's attorneys had argued the charges should be overturned because prosecutors never proved he took a bribe.
The appellate court said the U.S. Supreme Court ruling curtailing "honest services" laws didn't apply since Ryan's case clearly involved bribery and kickbacks.
The high court took issue with how the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reached its decision to reject his appeal -- but it stopped well short of overturning Ryan's convictions. Any new trial, if it happened, would solely focus on several fraud convictions, Thompson said.
Both sides must now submit new filings to the 7th Circuit by the end of June, and oral arguments could take place in autumn, Thompson said.
The U.S. Supreme Court in April ordered the appeals court to revisit Ryan's arguments to overturn his conviction. Last year, the lower court rejected arguments that the 2006 convictions should be tossed because prosecutors never proved Ryan took a bribe.
The high court took issue with how that court reached its decision. In upholding Ryan's convictions, the court concluded defense attorneys didn't make a timely objection to jury instructions about "honest services" laws
The 78-year-old Ryan is nearing the end of a 6 1/2-year sentence. He is due to be released from a federal prison in mid-2013.
Copyright Associated Press / NBC Chicago