Ryan's legal team has mounted a series of appeals after his corrruption conviction.
This latest appeal sought the former governor's release from prison based on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision that gutted the so-called honest services law. That was the main measure prosecutors used to convict Ryan. It basically said members of the public had an intangible right to the honest services of their public officials.
Since that law was in part struck down by the high court, Ryan's lawyers argued he should be allowed to go free. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals disagrees, so George Ryan will remain locked up and continue serving his 6 and 1/2 year prison term.
Ryan is just about half way through his sentence. He is due to be released on July 4, 2013.
This has been a rough few weeks for Ryan. His wife, Lura Lynn, died a week and a half ago on the same day a jury convicted the man who replaced Ryan, Rod Blagojevich, on corruption charges.
An attorney for George Ryan promises to keep fighting to have the former governor's corruption convictions thrown out.