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Federal appeals court refuses to re-hear appeal of Illinois ex-governor Ryan

[JURIST] The full US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit Thursday declined review [order, PDF] of the August ruling [JURIST report] of a three-judge Seventh Circuit panel affirming the conviction of former Illinois Gov. George Ryan [defense website] on fraud and corruption charges. Six of nine Seventh Circuit judges decided to deny Ryan's request for a rehearing en banc, though three judges dissented saying that the case "merited consideration" by the full court. The three-judge panel ruled that the district court judge acted properly in Ryan's trial when she replaced two jurors after it was discovered they had concealed their criminal backgrounds. Ryan may now begin his 6 1/2 year prison sentence [JURIST report], but his lawyer said that Ryan will file a motion to remain free while he appeals his case to the US Supreme Court. The Chicago Tribune has more.

Ryan's trial began in 2005, and, in 2006, a jury found him guilty [JURIST reports] on multiple counts of corruption and fraud [indictment, PDF] in connection with a bribes-for-licenses scandal that occurred during Ryan's term as Illinois Secretary of State. Ryan made national headlines and won praise in some quarters in January 2003 when just before leaving office he commuted the executions of all Illinois inmates then on death row [CNN file report; Ryan speech].

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