Wednesday, September 6, 2006
Former Illinois Governor George Ryan was sentenced to serve 6 and one-half years in federal prison for his convictions on corruption and RICO charges following a seven-month trial. The charges related to conduct when Ryan was the Illinois Secretary of State and involved gifts related to the issuance of drivers licenses and other government contracts. A number of former aides have been convicted, and Ryan received the same sentence as his top aide. The government sought a sentence within the Guidelines range of 8-10 years, and the defense argued for a 30-month sentence due to Ryan's poor health. Although U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer did not impose the sentence called for by the Sentencing Guidelines, the term of imprisonment is significant and means that Ryan will not be released until he is at least 78 years old, assuming the conviction is upheld on appeal. A Chicago Tribune story (here) discusses the sentencing.