An appeals panel on Monday denied former Gov. George Ryan's request to be released on bail so he could spend more time with his critically ill wife.
Ryan had asked the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to free him as he challenges his 2006 corruption conviction.
But the appellate court said Ryan failed to meet the high legal standard required to free him now.
The court did address the Ryan family urgency, though, saying in its written findings:
"We note that appellant’s attorneys have suggested the possibility that he might be released during the days so that he can be with his wife, and remain incarcerated at Kankakee at night. This possibility might be a humane way to address the personal aspect of his motion. As counsel recognize, however, a request for such an arrangement must be presented by the appellant to the Bureau of Prisons, because the Bureau is statutorily vested with the authority to take such action.”
Since Lura Lynn Ryan was hospitalized, George Ryan’s lawyers called on both the judicial and prison systems to show compassion and release Ryan so he could be with his wife, who has terminal lung cancer that has spread to several other organs
In an emergency request filed Wednesday with the Chicago-based federal appeals court, Ryan’s lawyers said Lura Lynn Ryan was undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment, despite having no hope of recovery, in hopes she might remain alive long enough to say goodbye to her husband.
The former governor quietly paid a two-hour visit to his wife’s bedside later that night, accompanied by prison escorts.
The visit was approved by the warden of the federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind., where Ryan is serving a 6 1/2-year term, and was not made public in subsequent days.
On Thursday, Mayor Richard Daley called on Ryan’s temporary release so he could say goodbye to his wife.
But on Friday, prosecutors revealed that Ryan had already paid his wife a two-hour visit. Anything more than that visit would amount to special treatment, prosecutors said.
Ryan’s lawyers did not make public his hospital visit, saying they were bound by prison policy not to disclose it, though prison officials said that wasn’t the case. Ryan’s lawyers blasted prosecutors for making the visit public.