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Gov. Ryan Says Jury Was Tainted

(CN) - Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan claims his chances of getting a fair trial on racketeering and fraud charges ended when a judge replaced two jurors during deliberations. Ryan has appealed his conviction to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Ryan's 37-page petition claims the two jurors' opinions were already known when Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer replaced them for not disclosing their police records on a pretrial questionnaire.

"The manipulation of the jury's composition deprived the petitioners of the fundamental right to a fair trial by an impartial jury," the petition states.

Ryan was convicted of steering lucrative leases and contracts to lobbyists in exchange for trips to Jamaica and Mexico, and for merchandise. He also was convicted of using state money to run his campaigns for governor and secretary of state. The 7th Court of Appeals upheld his conviction in October 2007.

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