Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan, who is serving 6 1/2-year sentence on racketeering and fraud convictions, filed an emergency request to leave federal prison so he can be with his dying wife.
Lura Lynn Ryan, 76, suffers from metastatic Stage IV carcinoma, an aggressive form of cancer that has attacked her lungs, back, pelvis, ribs and liver, according to an emergency motion for bail posted on the Chicago Sun-Times' website.
Her family was called to her bedside after she was admitted to intensive care Wednesday morning for septic shock, the motion says.
During her husband's incarceration, she has undergone radiation and chemotherapy "in the hope they will keep her alive until she can be with her husband to say good-bye," Ryan's lawyers say in the motion.
"She has, at most, weeks to live."
The disgraced ex-governor was convicted in April 2006 of fraud in a case stemming from bribes paid for various state licenses. The Supreme Court turned down his appeal in 2008.
The motion seeks Ryan's release from Indiana's Terre Haute federal prison through two avenues. One is through the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, where he has asked for an emergency release on bail. The other is through the Bail Reform Act, which allows for the temporary release of inmates in special circumstances.
In the second instance, he would be able to be with his wife during the day and stay overnight in Kankakee County Jail.
"Neither alternative would significantly impair any interest of the government," the motion states. "Maintaining Ryan's confinement, as it currently stands, on the other hands, inflicts irreparable injury on Ryan and his family."