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Former Gov. Ryan Loses Latest Bid For Early Release

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George Ryan

Former Gov. George Ryan addresses reporters the night before he left for prison. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – A federal appeals court dealt another legal defeat to former Gov. George Ryan on Monday, denying his latest bid to get out of prison early.

WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, despite a glimmer of hope from the U.S. Supreme Court three months ago, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals denied another request by Ryan to be granted early release from his 6 ½-year prison sentence.

The U.S. Supreme Court had sent Ryan’s bid back to the appeals court, telling it to reconsider Ryan’s argument that an earlier court ruling on the federal “honest services” statute might invalidate part of his conviction.

In their latest appeal, Ryan’s attorneys had challenged only his mail fraud convictions under the so-called “honest services” statute, arguing federal prosecutors failed to prove the former governor took any bribes.

After another look at Ryan’s case, a three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit disagreed, and again rejected Ryan’s appeal of his 6 ½-year sentence.

Read The Full Ruling

In a 2010 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the law making it a crime “to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services,” was unconstitutionally vague, and limited use of the law to instances of bribes and kickbacks.

Ryan, 78, is scheduled to be released from the federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind., next July.

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