[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled [PDF text] Wednesday that former Illinois Governor George Ryan [defense website; JURIST news archive] could not remain free on bail while he appeals his sentence of corruption and fraud charges. Judge Diane Wood delivered the opinion of the court which said, in part:
Appellants here have shown neither a reasonable probability that the Court will grant certiorari nor a reasonable possibility that this court's decision will be reversed….
The voluminous record here demonstrates that the appellants were guilty of the crimes with which they were charged. Although they would undoubtedly like to postpone the day of reckoning as long as they can, they have come to the end of the line as far as this court is concerned.
Ryan's legal defense team is expected to file a motion with the US Supreme Court [official website] seeking an order allowing Ryan to remain free on bail pending a final decision on the future of the case.
Ryan's trial began in 2005, and in 2006 a jury found him guilty [JURIST report] 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 report; Ryan speech]. A lower court judge has ordered Ryan to report to prison by November 7 [JURIST report]. Reuters has more. The Chicago Tribune has local coverage.