Former governor's wife praying for his release

The wife of former Gov. George Ryan has twice personally appealed to George W. Bush to pardon her husband before the Republican president leaves office in January.

Lura Lynn Ryan told the Chicago Sun-Times that one letter she wrote was put in the president's hand "by a close friend," whom she wouldn't name.

The former first lady says she had hoped to have her husband home by Thanksgiving. She says she's now hoping Ryan will be home by Christmas.

She adds that the 74-year-old former governor has tackled prison life with a positive attitude, but it has taken its toll.

In 2006, George Ryan was convicted of racketeering and fraud in a case that included a licenses-for-bribes scandal. He was sentenced to more than six years in prison.