(CN) - Former Illinois governor George Ryan will stay in jail, despite the fact that his wife, Lura Lynn, was diagnosed with terminal cancer last week, an Illinois federal judge ruled Tuesday.
In a 58-page opinion, Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer denied Ryan's plea to alter his sentence.
Ryan was convicted in 2006 and sentenced to 6 1/2 years for racketeering, mail fraud, tax violations and making false statements to the FBI.
The former governor argued that his sentence should be reduced in light of a Supreme Court ruling from earlier this year that limited the scope of the "honest services" mail fraud theory. A court applied the ruling to media mogul Conrad Black, and two charges were dropped.
Pallmeyer found, however, that Ryan's wrongdoings were covered under the statue.
"The conduct for which [Ryan] was convicted - steering contracts, leases and other governmental benefits in exchange for private gain - was well-recognized before his conviction as conduct that falls into the 'solid core' of honest services fraud."
Pallmeyer also refused to grant Ryan bail.
"This court takes no pleasure in depriving any defendant of his or her liberty," Pallmeyer wrote. "Any sensitive judge realizes that a lengthy prison term effectively robs the convicted person of what we all value most: months and years with loved ones, some of whom will no longer be there when the sentence has been served."
Ryan's attorney announced that she will appeal the decision.
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