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This just in… Ryan granted bail *** Updated x1 ***

Wednesday, Nov 29, 2006 - Posted by Rich Miller


A federal appeals court has granted bail to former Gov. George H. Ryan, allowing him to remain out of prison while he appeals his racketeering and fraud sentence.

The decision by the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals was issued without explanation on Tuesday. […]

U.S. District Judge Rebecca L. Pallmeyer had refused to grant bail to Ryan while he is appealing his 6 1/2 year federal prison sentence.

But the appeals court overruled her and said that Ryan may remain free while he is appealing his conviction. He had been due to report to prison Jan. 4.

*** UPDATE *** The AP has a longer story posted now.

Appeal bonds are unusual. Most criminal defendants in federal cases who are sentenced to prison must start serving their sentences soon afterward while their lawyers fight their appeals. Ryan’s lawyers argued that the problems involving the Ryan jury made his case “a close call.”

And Cal Skinner noticed that the appellate court allowed Ryan’s lawyers to file part of the appeal under seal.


  1. - Pat Hickey - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 10:36 am:

    I am pleased. Good. Pallmayer’s refusal to grant bail was a disgrace as was the sloppy jury management and the trial was played in the media.


  2. - Garp - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 10:38 am:

    Back to the drawing board.

  3. - whatever - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 10:55 am:

    What a crock!

  4. - I can't believe we did it again - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 11:02 am:

    Is it normal to grant bail while awaiting appeal?

  5. - train111 - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 11:20 am:

    Ryan will never serve a day of his sentance. He will be long gone before all of the possible appeals are exhausted.

  6. - Jaded - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 11:26 am:


  7. - Mike W - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 11:31 am:

    Good for him and his family!

  8. - HoosierDaddy - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 11:33 am:

    Yes it is common to grant bail pending appeal in the federal system, particularly for non-violent crimes. This will be on appeal for the next ten years and Ryan will die a free man.

  9. - fedup dem - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 11:48 am:

    It’s a pity. Now who will keep a cell bunk waiting for Gov. Sleazy to occupy it at Club Fed in a few years time?

  10. - Get it Straight - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 11:53 am:


    You are patently incorrect. Appellate bonds are granted very infrequently by the Federal courts. Know before you speak.

  11. - Good News, Bad News (or vice versa) - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 11:54 am:

    He may be free, but he’s hours away from losing his whole pension.

  12. - Cassandra - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 12:03 pm:

    I assume the fed court wouldn’t have granted him bond unless they thought he had a reasonable chance of winning on appeal.

    Good news for Blagojevich and Daley, both of whom would likely insist on staying in office as well as out of jail during an appeal, should they be indicted.

    Is Winston/Stawn going to donate another few mil into Ryan’s appeal, I wonder. Thompson must know some really bad stuff about the Winston Strawn partners if they are going to keep funding this
    in the face of general public oppobrium.

  13. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 12:10 pm:

    Go away George. And take Blagojevich with you.

  14. - Little Egypt - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 12:23 pm:

    I don’t think it’s unusual that someone convicted of a white collar crime would be free on bond pending appeal of their conviction. Do I like that GRyan will never see a day in prison? No, certainly not. However, if we want the judicial system to work, it needs to work properly for all of us and even though I think he is guilty and should do time, I also believe there is strong evidence of the jury being tainted and this whole thing could end up being remanded for a new trial. For me knowing that he will be living on either a $50K a year pension or having all of his pension contributions returned to him for his own investment/retirement purposes is great. At least he won’t be sucking $197K a year from Illinois.

  15. - Citizen A - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 12:39 pm:

    Well, my goodness! This is wonderful, I knew all along he was innocent, afterall this IS Illinois!

  16. - Ron Burgundy - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 12:42 pm:

    Release on bond pending appeal for federal criminal defendants is very rare, and appeals don’t cost millions of dollars.

  17. - BBpolNut - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 1:07 pm:

    Good. He’s been disgraced there is no need for him to spend the rest of his life in a cell. He did years of good work in this state.

  18. - Pat Collins - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 1:19 pm:

    Frank Easterbrook - appointed by Reagan.

    Terrence Evans - Carter appointee, placed on 7th by Clinton.

    Diane Syke - Bush appointee, clerked for T. Evans.

    Bush is known for making less conservative appointments to “safe” circuits, and placing conservative ones on the more moderate to liberal circuits.

    What does it mean that these 3 did it? I have no idea. Very odd that part is under seal. That must be the “jury” bit.

  19. - Justice - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 1:53 pm:

    The court must have felt he stands a good chance to win on appeal. Be interested why they allowed part of the plea to remain “under seal.” This is certainly good news for him and his family. It will be a torment for him either way. Is he under restrictions as far as travel?

  20. - Anon - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 2:03 pm:

    Pallmeyer played for the 7th.
    These judges may have been helped by Ryan along the way.
    No demo POTUS will appoint her now.
    If she had played it straight, she would have had a chance.

  21. - DuPage Saint - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 2:43 pm:

    This is perfect for Ryan. He will die before he goes in or gets new trial, then, as with ENRON he will not be convicted and will get all back pension for his wife. OF COURSE pension board will now give him his pension anyway saying not fair to deny while case is in doubt. Love it that is why Illinois is known as Sucker State

  22. - Snidely Whiplash - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 3:13 pm:

    Geez, didn’t you just KNOW he’d be one of the infinitismal number of criminal defendants to be granted an appeal bond by the federal court? And filing under seal? Hey, nothing like having a little influence remaining despite being a convicted felon.

    This guy will never see a day in jail. He’ll die before all his appeals are exhausted! What a crock is right!

  23. - Angie - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 3:24 pm:

    OK. The famous political satirist, P.J. O’Rourke, once quipped that “term limits” are not enough, and that “we need jail.” I determined that perhaps what we really need is longer jail terms.

    I take that back, because length of jail term does no good if no one has to serve part of it until they are just about one foot in the grave.

    Bythe way, why do wanna-be crooks even bother going to law school? Makes no sense.

  24. - fedup dem - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 4:25 pm:

    Note to Du Page Saint: This case differs from the Ken Lay Enron case. Lay died between the time the jury found him Guilty and his sentencing date. In this case, Ryan has already been sentenced. His conviction is on the books. It is like a call in a football game being reviewed by the replay booth. The “ruling on the field” (Ryan’s conviction and sentence) will stand if there is no convincing evidence to overturn it.

    Were Ryan to die before that ruling could be reversed, the Circuit Judges would likely rule the case before them moot, leaving the conviction in place and denying Mrs. Ryan the widow’s pension.

  25. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 4:50 pm:

    “The system works for those who work it.”

  26. - Way Northsider - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 5:07 pm:

    I had hoped for him to start serving time in January. Don’t like the fact that he gets to stay out of jail.

  27. - huh? - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 5:08 pm:

    People - Ryan is a convicted felon. He will always be a convicted felon. He didn’t have the coourtesy to die before being sentenced.

    The Enron case was that Ken Lay died BEFORE being sentenced. Dying before being sentenced got the conviction expunged for Ken Lay.

  28. - Snidely Whiplash - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 5:35 pm:

    That’s the real travesty of all this: he’s not even going to have to do his country club time! If I hear that death row pardon crap one more time I’ll scream. Uhm, hasn’t anybody figured out that he knew he was going down, and did that to generate enough public sympathy for him to either avoid the indictment or get a sympathetic jury?

    Besides, you don’t willy-nilly free 200 convicted murderers onto our streets even if you HAD good intent (when did GR EVER have good intent?). Even if one or two were innocent (which I haven’t seen proven), you let all the rest out to kill again?

  29. - the old republican - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 6:43 pm:

    Good for George & his family !! There is a Santa Claus & good luck on the case appeal.

  30. - Anonymous again - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 7:11 pm:

    no bail but no pension no money for christmas no life big looser

  31. - Citizen A - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 7:50 pm:

    I wonder what is on Scott Fawell’s mind tonight? I’m sure he is very happy for George what with the loyalty thing and all.

  32. - Disgusted - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 8:23 pm:

    This state is an amazement. You wouldn’t believe what goes on here politically if you read it in a book. No one could come up with a plot like the crooked politics, courts, insurance companies and hospitals in Illinois. And we are left with a cast of reprobates and sleazy characters that wouldn’t even appear in those old crime story magazines. What a place!!!

  33. - Citizen A - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 9:03 pm:

    Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of man ? THE SHADOW KNOWS !!The weed of crime bears bitter fruit! So, the question is - Is Pat Fitzgerald the SHADOW ? Or not!

  34. - Bill - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 9:03 pm:

    Good for George and his family. Fitz screws up another one. W should send this guy packing.

  35. - KenoMan - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 9:55 pm:

    Good for George, now Blago will be in prison long before he ever steps foot there!

  36. - C.L.I.C.K. for Justice and Equality - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 10:10 pm:

    Can you believe this crap by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals? The next thing we will hear is that the Governor will give him a pardon. Check out the case I was involved in with the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals where I got no relief. But wait, I don’t have friends in high places. Check out my website to see how Governor Blagojevich’s office is handling my clemency. I bet Ryan would have no trouble getting clemency. The Governor’s office can do anything because they take care of their friends with contracts. See my websites/blogs at and

  37. - beowulf - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 7:18 am:

    It pays to have friends in high places, it seems.

  38. - David P. Graf - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 7:28 am:

    Unfortunately, the six kids who died thanks to Greedy George’s corruption have no court to which they can appeal their death sentences.

  39. - Truthful James - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 7:58 am:

    Time to consider a legal system in other countries where losers foot the bills on both sides.

    BTW, If there were errors it was not from the Fitz team but from the Judge.

  40. - Pat Hickey - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 12:11 pm:

    Unctious Dave Graff,

    Per your sniff - ‘Unfortunately, the six kids who died thanks to Greedy George’s corruption have no court to which they can appeal their death sentences.’

    That would be theologically inaccurate and insenstive to the Rev Willis, as the children are with the Judge of All, unless youhappen to be an atheist missionary or something. Leave the use of the unfortunate Willis children to John Kass.

  41. - Not So Fast - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 1:18 pm:

    He will never spend a day in prison, unfortunately. He is 72 and has multiple health problems. Have you seen how much weight he has packed on in the last few years? Usually elderly people lose weight; he must be shovelling in the fried chicken and potato salad all day long. He will either die before his sentence is affirmed or he is convicted again upon a reversal, or he will cop the “too ill to go to prison, it would be a death sentence” nonsense that all the old mobsters spew.

  42. - David P. Graf - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 8:48 pm:


    As an evangelical Christian, I believe that the children are now safe with God. However, it does not change the fact that there is no appeal that can stay the death sentence passed on them as a result of the corruption of Greedy George and his henchmen. To put it bluntly, the kids are already dead. Unfortunately, we live in a world in which bad things can happen to even young kids.

    One other thing - I agree with you that Kass is a far better writer than I am.

  43. - Pat Hickey - Friday, Dec 1, 06 @ 6:52 am:

    Mr. Graf,

    You write very well. Whatever sins old George takes with him when he sheds this mortal coil, will be considered by a Judge that didn’t get appointed.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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