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High court rebuffs ex-Illinois Gov. Ryan

May 28, 2008|David G. Savage | Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused without comment to hear former Illinois Gov. George H. Ryan's claim that his corruption conviction should be overturned because the trial judge replaced two jurors midway through deliberations.

The court's action leaves intact Ryan's 6 1/2 -year prison sentence, which he began serving in November.

After a six-month trial and nearly a month of deliberations, a jury convicted Ryan in April 2006 of a series of white-collar crimes, including racketeering, lying to the FBI and filing false tax returns.

Prosecutors said Ryan used his post as Illinois secretary of state to steer contracts to friends in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars of benefits for himself, including money to fund his successful campaign for governor in 1998. Lawrence E. Warner, a friend and advisor to Ryan, was convicted along with him.

In Ryan's appeal, his lawyers argued that the trial judge's decision to replace the two jurors violated Ryan's constitutional right to a fair trial.

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david.savage@latimes.com

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