Supreme Court Turns Down Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan's Bid to Delay Prison Term

Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan lost his final bid Tuesday to delay starting his prison term when Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens turned down his request to remain free on bail.

Ryan is due to report to the federal correctional center at Oxford, Wis., on Wednesday to start serving his 6 1/2-year racketeering and fraud sentence.

Ryan and co-defendant Larry Warner, who also was turned down, have remained free on bond since their April 2006 convictions.

The two men asked Stevens to grant them bail at least until the nation's high court decides whether to hear their appeal.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the convictions in a 2-1 split decision. Ryan and Warner then asked the appeals court to reconsider and were turned down by a 6-3 vote.

Judge Michael S. Kanne, who sat on the three-judge panel, dissented and said the trial had been "riddled with errors."

Ryan was convicted of steering big-money state contracts to Warner and other friends, using state money and state workers to run his campaigns and killing an investigation of bribes paid in exchange for truck driver's licenses.

Ryan's claim that he did not receive a fair trial is primarily based on chaotic jury deliberations. Two jurors were dismissed after it was found they had omitted mention of their police records on a questionnaire.