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Mulling the fallout from Ryan verdict, even with new questions

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Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan (Reuters photo)

By Ben Calhoun, Illinois Public Radio

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kwmu/local-kwmu-508392.mp3

Chicago, Ill. – Former Governor George Ryan once helped shape Illinos' political scene when he was the hub of the state's Republican Party. But he was convicted this week of racketeering and a number of other chargers.

New questions were raised Wednesday about the jury that convicted Ryan, and whether the conviction might be overturned.

But regardless of what happens during appeals, the public image this week of Ryan as a convicted felon have many wondering what effect he will have on this year's election, even though he's been out of office for four years.

Illinois Public Radio's Ben Calhoun prepared this report.

NEW QUESTIONS ABOUT JURORS

Meanwhile, newly released court papers show that at least five jurors in former Governor George Ryan's corruption trial falsely said in questionnaires that they never had been arrested or accused of a crime.

Two of those jurors were removed before the verdict was reached. A sixth juror, the foreman in the case, indicated she never had been involved in a court case but actually had sued her ex-husband for divorce.

Defense attorneys sought to stop the trial, saying "dishonest jurors have undoubtedly compromised Ryan's right to a fair and impartial jury." The documents also show that one juror - who was later dropped - was criticized for apparently sleeping in court. And still another juror talked about the case with relatives but was allowed to stay on the panel.

In a statement, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said "the jury provided a fair and just trial to all parties in this case."

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