Wednesday, April 30, 2008

George Ryan’s appeal opposed by Solicitor General

U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement filed a brief Friday, April 25 stating that the U.S. Su-preme Court should refuse to hear the appeal of convicted ex-Governor George Ryan.

The U.S. Solicitor General, who was nominated by President George Bush in March, 2005 and confirmed by the Senate in June.

By definition, the solicitor general is to argue for the Gov-ernment of the United States in front of the U.S. Supreme Court when the government is involved in a case.

Clement said complaints about jurors were misguided and a hearing was not warranted.

Following Ryan’s conviction, his attorneys Dan Webb and former Gov. James R. Thompson did as they promised – to take Ryan’s case all the way to the Supreme Court.

Thompson was adamant that Ryan should receive a fair trial. His argument, that the trial was not fair, was based on some in-consistencies with some of the jurors during the six-month long trial. Thompson’s opinion was bolstered by the sole dissent in the Court of Appeals and a mi-nority opinion by Circuit Judges who ultimately refused to rehear Ryan’s case.

On Jan. 23, Thompson filed a petition urging the U.S. Supreme Court to act on Ryan’s behalf to overturn his conviction.

That was a final step in a long line of legal maneuvers that could no longer keep Ryan out of federal prison.

Clement also weighed in last November when Ryan’s bail was denied by U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.

Ryan reported to prison in No-vember 2007 to serve a six and one-half year sentence. He was initially sent to Oxford Institu-tion, in Wisconsin, but was re-cently moved to Terre Haute Federal Institution in Terre Haute, Indiana. Under new regu-lations, of which Ryan was un-aware at the time of his sentenc-ing, Oxford could no longer care for inmates over 70 years of age. Ryan is 74.

Ryan and his business partner Lawrence Warner were con-victed on April 17, 2006, of mul-tiple counts of racketeering, con-spiracy, mail fraud, obstruction of justice, money laundering, and tax violation while he served as Secretary of State.

Ryan is expected to be re-leased from prison in 2013.

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