Monday, November 22, 2010

Chicago Criminal attorney comments on the narrowing of honest services-fraud

This Chicago Criminal attorney has posted here and here about the crime of honest services fraud.  It looks like the very charge that former governor Blagojevich wasn’t charged with is being used by former governor George Ryan to overturn his convictions.

 Attorneys for George Ryan argued today that the disgraced former governor should be released from prison because the U.S. Supreme Court has redefined a key law behind his 2006 corruption conviction.
Ryan's attorneys contended that jurors would not have convicted Ryan under the new, narrower definition of honest-services fraud, one of the charges that led to a 6½-year sentence for the governor in the doling out of state contracts and leases to friends in return for gifts to him and his family.
Prosecutors argued that free vacations and other gifts Ryan got from state contractors or lobbyists meet the definition of bribes or kickbacks, and that the convictions would hold up under the new standard required to prove honest-services fraud. The new standard sharply limited the honest-services law to apply only in cases of bribery or kickbacks.
Pallmeyer said she intended to rule quickly on the motion but noted that her decision was likely to be appealed.
Media mogul Conrad Black was released from prison this year after an appeals court ruled that several of the honest-services counts against him don't measure up to the new standard and his sentence should be reconsidered in light of the Supreme Court ruling.
So do you think former Governor Ryan will be released?

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