*** UPDATE 1 *** No release for Ryan…
A federal judge has denied Ryan’s early release from prison, despite pleas from his ailing wife, Lura Lynn.
U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer announced her decision in a written ruling at noon.
*** UPDATE 2 *** The ruling is here.
…Adding… In reading the opinion, Judge Pallmeyer takes several not so subtle swipes at Jim Thompson, Ryan’s lead attorney. Thompson successfully prosecuted former Gov. Otto Kerner in what is considered the first honest services fraud case and Pallmeyer relies heavily on that case in her opinion.
…Adding More… Ryan’s attorneys argued strenuously that the “Skilling” decision which undermined the honest services fraud statute required an actual quid pro quo. Pallmeyer’s reading of the decision and other cases disagrees…
As the case law cited by the Supreme Court reflects, a showing of bribery need not include direct quid pro quo exchange; two of the three cases cited by the Court as examples of honest services bribery rest on a “stream of benefits” bribery theory.
…Sill More… Pallmeyer concluded that two jury instructions were in error, in light of the Skilling decision. One involved conflict of interest, the other involved violations of state law. However, Pallmeyer wrote she was “satisfied that the instructional errors identified above were harmless”
And in the end…
The court need not dwell on the appropriate standard for release of a convicted prisoner. In today’s ruling, Ryan’s § 2255 petition is dismissed on the merits and his conviction is upheld on all counts. Under any legitimate standard, this context is not appropriate for the “very sparing” exercise of the court’s power to set bail. Ryan’s motion for release is denied.
*** UPDATE 3 *** No surprise here. There will be an appeal…
[ *** End Of Updates 1-3 *** ]
“Obviously we’re very disappointed and we do expect we will appeal,” said attorney Albert Alschuler, who argued on Ryan’s behalf in a recent hearing before Pallmeyer.
Alschuler said he was still reading the ruling, but said the team would have to file a case before the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals before asking for bond.
The 76-year-old former governor has served three years and one month of his 6 1/2-year prison sentence for corruption. Ryan, who is scheduled to be released in 2013, is being held at a federal prison camp in Terre Haute, Ind.
* Tuesday will probably not be a slow news day. The judge overseeing George Ryan’s motion to be set free will reportedly make her decision known by noon today…
Former governor George Ryan will learn Tuesday if he will be released from prison early and get to be with his ailing wife in her final months.
U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer is expected to issue her ruling George H. Ryan, Sr. v. United States of America, Case No. 10 C 5512, by noon Tuesday. Ryan, 76, has served less than half of his six-and-a-half-year sentence for racketeering, tax fraud, conspiracy and lying to the FBI. Ryan’s attorney– former governor Jim Thompson– argues Ryan’s sentence should be reduced to time served due to the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision on the ‘honest services’ law.
Also, Mrs. Ryan claims she has three to six months to live after doctors found cancer. So the attorneys are attempting to use that to at least get the guy sprung on bail for a while.
…Adding… Gov. Pat Quinn says he’s against Ryan’s release…
“Personally, I think that Gov. George Ryan should complete his sentence, in prison. I know it’s a very sad situation if his wife is in very poor health,” Quinn said. “You know he was sentenced by a jury, twelve men and women, good and true and they, well, they convicted him of a crime and a judge issued the sentence and it should be carried out. It’s, I think, the way to go.”
Quinn says he will turn down Jesse Jackson’s request to lobby President Obama to free Ryan because Ryan’s wife, Lura Lynn, is dying.
This case is about a whole lot more than Ryan’s wife. It’s about the greatly changed status of the honest services fraud laws by the US Supreme Court. Quinn is just pandering here.
* And the hearing officer in Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago residency case will make his decision sometime today as well…
Hearing officer Joe Morris, the bow-tied conservative Republican who presided over marathon hearings in the case, is expected to make his recommendation to the Chicago Board of Elections Commissioners as early as Tuesday.
The three-member election board then will decide Thursday whether to uphold or overturn Morris. That will be followed by a court challenge that’s almost certain to end with the Illinois Supreme Court.
*** UPDATE 4 - 5:30 pm *** The Chicago elections board has just notified reporters that the hearing officer in the Rahm Emanuel residency case won’t turn in his decision until tomorrow, perhaps by midday.
* More steps, support for George Ryan release
* Rev. Jackson calls for George Ryan’s release
* Ryan and equity
* The Kankakee Daily Journal: Ryans should be reunited
* Mitchell: Let George Ryan come home
* Sneed: Plea to Obama
* Prosecutor who fought Ryan appeal named federal judge
* ‘Compelling’ points made for ballot spot, Emanuel says
* Rahm Emanuel residency dispute moves forward
* Emanuel confident he’ll survive residency fight
* Friend-of-court brief tossed in Emanuel case