Appeals court denies rehearing on Ryan appeal

CHICAGO – A federal appeals court in Chicago has refused a request by imprisoned former Gov. George Ryan that all the court's judges rehear his appeal seeking an earlier release from prison.

A three-sentence statement Monday from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says simply the request is denied. It offers no explanation.

Three appellate judges in August rejected arguments that Ryan's 2006 convictions for corruption should be tossed because prosecutors never proved he took a bribe.

The 78-year-old Republican is nearing the end of his 6 1/2-year sentence.

His release was scheduled for July 2013. But his attorneys say Ryan has qualified for a work-release program that will allow him to leave his Terre Haute, Ind., prison in February and move to a halfway house in Chicago.

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