Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Jermaine Hudson: Louisiana: Incredibly wrongful eyewitness identification case: (Certainly one for our 'Enough to make one weep' department)..."A prosecutor asked: “Are you a hundred percent certain that this man right here put a gun to your head and robbed you? Gumpright responded: “A hundred and ten percent certain.” One problem: The oh-so-sure eyewitness was lying through his teeth - and his lie kept Jermaine Hudson, an innocent man, wrongfully in prison for 20 years. Worse, if at all possible, as National Registry scribe Ken Otterbourg tells us..."Hudson’s attorney did not present any evidence. According to a court transcript, the attorney declined to put a potential witness on the stand, telling the court that he had reason to believe the witness would not tell the truth." How did the truth finally see the light of day, (as occasionally it does): Read on!


PUBLISHER'S NOTE: PUBLISHER'S NOTE: This Blog is interested in eye-witness identification issues because  wrongful identifications are at the heart of so many DNA-related exonerations in the USA and elsewhere - and because so much scientific research is being conducted with a goal to making the identification process more   transparent and reliable- and less subject to deliberate manipulation.  I have also reported far too many cases over the years - mainly cases lacking DNA evidence pointing to the suspect - where the police have rigged the identification process in order to make an identification inevitable. Sure sounds like  obstruction of justice to me. PS: And what if the witness is simply lying, for whatever iniquitous purpose that might be?
Harold Levy: Publisher: The Charles Smith Blog.

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PASSAGE OF THE DAY: "On March 25, officials with the district attorney’s office heard from a counselor at a drug treatment facility in Terrebonne County, about an hour southwest of New Orleans. Gumpright was a patient at the facility, and he had recanted his testimony.  Two attorneys with the district attorney’s office quickly drove to the facility and helped Gumpright swear out an affidavit. There was no robbery, Gumpright said. He had spent the money on drugs and been afraid to tell his father what happened. He said that when the police showed him the photo array, he picked Hudson at random. “For the last 20 years since this happened, I have been tortured by the lie I told,” Gumpright said. “I am sorry for all the pain and suffering I have caused Jermaine Hudson and his family.” The district attorney’s office found no evidence of contact between Gumpright and Hudson. In addition, Gumpright had no knowledge that prosecutors had already agreed to release Hudson on time served.  On March 26, prosecutors dismissed the charge against Hudson. Emily Maw, chief of the district attorney’s civil rights division, said during a brief hearing that everything Gumpright said in his affidavit was “entirely consistent with the case.” She told the Times-Picayune that prosecutors in 1999 had interviewed an alibi witness for Hudson but disbelieved her. Hudson was released from prison later that day."

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QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Hudson was released from prison later that day. He noted that he had turned down a plea deal of five years in prison, because he wasn’t going to admit to something he didn’t do. “I just thank God that it’s finally over,” he said. “Thank God for revealing the truth. I forgive the guy and pray that he gets his life back on track.” 

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ENTRY: "Jermaine Hudson; Louisiana: Recent entry to National Registry of Exoneration. (April 13, 2021.) Author Ken Otterbourg:

GIST: "On March 1, 1999, 18-year-old Robert Gumpright told his father he had been robbed at gunpoint of about $80 in tip money and a St. Christopher’s medallion as he rode his bicycle home from his bartending job at an Applebee’s in the Algiers neighborhood on the West Bank of New Orleans, Louisiana. 

Gumpright would later testify that he went home and woke his father, who then called the police. Gumpright gave a description to a police officer, saying that the person who robbed him was a black male, about 5 foot 8 inches, weighing 140 pounds, wearing a blue cap, a black short-sleeved shirt, and blue jeans. Police canvassed the area but made no arrests.

Two months later, on May 5, 1999, two detectives came to the Applebee’s and asked Gumpright to look at a six-pack photo array. One of the photos was of 20-year-old Jermaine Hudson, who had a previous armed robbery conviction. Gumpright looked at the photos and then told the officers that Hudson was the man who robbed him.

Hudson was indicted on June 29, 1999, and charged with armed robbery and possession of a weapon by a felon. 

His trial began and ended on March 22, 2000. The state called only two witnesses, Gumpright and the officer who responded to the 911 call.

Gumpright testified that his bartending job required him to be good at remembering faces. He said he was nervous testifying because he was in the same room with the man who robbed him at gunpoint. He recounted the robbery, telling jurors how Hudson had ripped the St. Christopher’s medallion from a chain around his neck. 

A prosecutor asked: “Are you a hundred percent certain that this man right here put a gun to your head and robbed you? 

Gumpright responded: “A hundred and ten percent certain.”

Hudson’s attorney did not present any evidence. According to a court transcript, the attorney declined to put a potential witness on the stand, telling the court that he had reason to believe the witness would not tell the truth.

The jury, by a vote of 10-2, convicted Hudson on March 22 of armed robbery. At the time, Louisiana and Oregon were the only states that allowed non-unanimous jury verdicts. Prosecutors separately dismissed the weapons charge. 

On April 12, 2000, a judge sentenced Hudson to 99 years in prison after prosecutors invoked his previous felony conviction as an aggravating factor in sentencing.

Hudson filed several appeals in state courts, but they were dismissed at the trial and appellate levels. 

On April 20, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the use of non-unanimous verdicts. While Louisiana had already amended its constitution to bar such verdicts, that change only applied to crimes committed after 2018. The newer ruling opened a pathway to defendants such as Hudson.

On February 10, 2021, Jamila Johnson, the managing attorney for the Unanimous Jury Project at the Promise of Justice Initiative in New Orleans, filed a petition on Hudson’s behalf for post-conviction relief based on the Supreme Court’s ruling. While Hudson hadn’t raised the issue of a non-unanimous verdict in his appeals, Johnson said the issue was still preserved; until the Supreme Court’s ruling, she wrote, the claim was not “remotely available.”

By this time, Hudson had been in prison for more than 20 years. On February 26, 2021, Johnson reached an agreement with the Orleans Parish District Attorney. The state vacated his conviction, with the understanding that Hudson would plead guilty to armed robbery on March 24, 2021, and then be released on time served. 

Because of scheduling issues, that plea date was moved back to early April. Then, something occurred that Johnson would later call “one of the miracles of the universe.” 

On March 25, officials with the district attorney’s office heard from a counselor at a drug treatment facility in Terrebonne County, about an hour southwest of New Orleans. Gumpright was a patient at the facility, and he had recanted his testimony. 

Two attorneys with the district attorney’s office quickly drove to the facility and helped Gumpright swear out an affidavit. There was no robbery, Gumpright said. He had spent the money on drugs and been afraid to tell his father what happened. He said that when the police showed him the photo array, he picked Hudson at random.

“For the last 20 years since this happened, I have been tortured by the lie I told,” Gumpright said. “I am sorry for all the pain and suffering I have caused Jermaine Hudson and his family.”

The district attorney’s office found no evidence of contact between Gumpright and Hudson. In addition, Gumpright had no knowledge that prosecutors had already agreed to release Hudson on time served. 

On March 26, prosecutors dismissed the charge against Hudson. Emily Maw, chief of the district attorney’s civil rights division, said during a brief hearing that everything Gumpright said in his affidavit was “entirely consistent with the case.” She told the Times-Picayune that prosecutors in 1999 had interviewed an alibi witness for Hudson but disbelieved her.

Hudson was released from prison later that day. He noted that he had turned down a plea deal of five years in prison, because he wasn’t going to admit to something he didn’t do. “I just thank God that it’s finally over,” he said. “Thank God for revealing the truth. I forgive the guy and pray that he gets his life back on track.” 

https://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/Pages/casedetail.aspx?caseid=5945

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I am monitoring this case/issue. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments. The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic"  section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at: http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith. Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at: http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com.  Harold Levy: Publisher: The Charles Smith Blog;

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FINAL WORD:  (Applicable to all of our wrongful conviction cases):  "Whenever there is a wrongful conviction, it exposes errors in our criminal legal system, and we hope that this case — and lessons from it — can prevent future injustices."
Lawyer Radha Natarajan:
Executive Director: New England Innocence Project;
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FINAL, FINAL WORD: "Since its inception, the Innocence Project has pushed the criminal legal system to confront and correct the laws and policies that cause and contribute to wrongful convictions.   They never shied away from the hard cases — the ones involving eyewitness identifications, confessions, and bite marks. Instead, in the course of presenting scientific evidence of innocence, they’ve exposed the unreliability of evidence that was, for centuries, deemed untouchable." So true!
Christina Swarns: Executive Director: The Innocence Project;

False Confessions Series: Part Five: (Jon Burge): New Archive: "Its been nearly three decades since Jon Burge was fired from the Chicago Police Department, but a new archive unveiled Wednesday is documenting the years of “violence and terror” carried out against dozens of police torture survivors. The Invisible Institute, a journalism nonprofit based on the city’s South Side, published the Chicago Police Torture Archive, an online "human rights documentation of former police Cmdr. Jon Burge's violence against more than 100 black men, from the 1970's to 1990s.'"


CHICAGO POLICE TORTURE ARCHIVE:

A human rights documentation of Jon Burge's violence against more than 100 black people, from the 1970's - 1990s.

https://chicagopolicetorturearchive.com

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QUOTE OF THE DAY: “The era of torture did not start with the Burge crew,” Invisible Institute executive editors Alison Flowers and Jamie Kalven wrote on the archive site. “It did not end with the Burge crew. In fact, it was not an era at all. The legacy of torture persists to this day.”

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QUOTE TWO OF THE DAY: "“I screamed and screamed and screamed, but it didn’t do any good,” Darrell Cannon, a Burge victim, said in an interview on the site while recounting detectives using a cattle prod on his genitals. “And finally I got to the point where I couldn’t take any more electroshocks and I told them that I would say anything they wanted me to say.” The confession Cannon gave, to a murder he didn’t commit, was used to help secure his conviction. He spent nearly 24 years in prison before he was exonerated and released in 2007. Conroy’s 1990 Chicago Reader piece titled “House of Screams” identified Burge as the “perpetrator-in-chief” behind a torture ring at the Chicago Police Department’s Area 2 headquarters.

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PASSAGE OF THE DAY: "In 2015, the city passed a $5.5 million reparations package for torture survivors, with then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel calling Burge’s actions a “disgrace.” The Invisible Institute said the archive remains a work in progress, with future plan add additional materials and profile more police torture survivors. The group will also track how well the city follows through on that reparations package, saying that to date, it has not honored all of its terms."

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STORY: "New online archive documents years of torture  under Jon Burge, by Reporter Matt Nasterson, published by WTTW.com on February 3, 2021.

GIST: "It’s been nearly three decades since Jon Burge was fired from the Chicago Police Department, but a new archive unveiled Wednesday is documenting the years of “violence and terror” carried out against dozens of police torture survivors.

The Invisible Institute, a journalism nonprofit based on the city’s South Side, published the Chicago Police Torture Archive, an online “human rights documentation of former police Cmdr. Jon Burge’s violence against more than 100 Black men, from the 1970s to the 1990s.”

"This archive documents the persistence of civil rights and defense attorneys, activists, and journalists in wringing a trickle of justice in the torture cases and in holding the City to account," said journalist John Conroy, a contributor to the archive project who helped bring light to Burge’s actions with his reporting in the early 1990s.

The website includes interviews with several of Burge’s victims, as well as a timeline of abuse and more than 100,000 pages of case documents detailing the allegations against Burge and his “Midnight Crew.”

“I screamed and screamed and screamed, but it didn’t do any good,” Darrell Cannon, a Burge victim, said in an interview on the site while recounting detectives using a cattle prod on his genitals. “And finally I got to the point where I couldn’t take any more electroshocks and I told them that I would say anything they wanted me to say.”

The confession Cannon gave, to a murder he didn’t commit, was used to help secure his conviction. He spent nearly 24 years in prison before he was exonerated and released in 2007.

Conroy’s 1990 Chicago Reader piece titled “House of Screams” identified Burge as the “perpetrator-in-chief” behind a torture ring at the Chicago Police Department’s Area 2 headquarters.

Burge was eventually suspended and fired in the early 1990s, and was arrested on obstruction and perjury charges in 2008, eventually receiving a 4 1/2-year prison sentence.

He was released from prison in 2014 and died four years later at the age of 70, having never been tried for any of the torture allegations, as the statute of limitations on those crimes had expired.

In 2015, the city passed a $5.5 million reparations package for torture survivors, with then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel calling Burge’s actions a “disgrace.”

The Invisible Institute said the archive remains a work in progress, with future plan add additional materials and profile more police torture survivors. The group will also track how well the city follows through on that reparations package, saying that to date, it has not honored all of its terms.

“The era of torture did not start with the Burge crew,” Invisible Institute executive editors Alison Flowers and Jamie Kalven wrote on the archive site. “It did not end with the Burge crew. In fact, it was not an era at all. The legacy of torture persists to this day.""

The entire story can be read at:

https://news.wttw.com/2021/02/03/new-online-archive-documents-years-police-torture-under-jon-burge

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I am monitoring this case/issue. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments. The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic"  section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at: http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith. Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at: http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com.  Harold Levy: Publisher: The Charles Smith Blog;

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FINAL WORD:  (Applicable to all of our wrongful conviction cases):  "Whenever there is a wrongful conviction, it exposes errors in our criminal legal system, and we hope that this case — and lessons from it — can prevent future injustices."
Lawyer Radha Natarajan:
Executive Director: New England Innocence Project;
—————————————————————————————————
FINAL, FINAL WORD: "Since its inception, the Innocence Project has pushed the criminal legal system to confront and correct the laws and policies that cause and contribute to wrongful convictions.   They never shied away from the hard cases — the ones involving eyewitness identifications, confessions, and bite marks. Instead, in the course of presenting scientific evidence of innocence, they’ve exposed the unreliability of evidence that was, for centuries, deemed untouchable." So true!
Christina Swarns: Executive Director: The Innocence Project;

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

False Confession Series: (Part Four): Gerald Reed: Chicago: Even today, torture victims of deceased Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge's squad - accused of torturing more than 100 mainly black suspects to elicit confessions - are still trying to clear their name. Gerald Reed is one of them. Pardoned and freed by Governor Pritzker on April 1, 2021, but still awaiting exoneration in the criminal courts, Win9 Reporter Rob Sneed reports that Reed's mother has vowed to fully clear Reed's name and record.



PUBLISHER'S NOTE: This Blog is interested in false confessions because of the disturbing number of exonerations in the USA, Canada and multiple other jurisdictions throughout the world, where, in the absence of incriminating forensic evidence the conviction is based on self-incrimination – and because of the growing body of  scientific research showing how vulnerable suspects (especially young suspects)  are to widely used interrogation methods  such as  the notorious ‘Reid Technique.’ As  all too many of this Blog's post have shown, I also recognize that pressure for false confessions can take many forms, up to and including physical violence, even physical and mental torture.


Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog:

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PUBLISHER'S NOTE: Nota bene. When we talk about the 'Burge era' we are not discussing a dry, detached period of history. The fallout is still being felt. This post is the story of Gerald Reed who has been in prison for 30 years of his life by deceased Commander Jon Burge and his team who tortured confessions out of people. Gerald Reed was released early in April after being pardoned by Illinois Governor Pritzker.

Harold Levy: Publisher: The Charles Smith Blog. 

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "“Reed has been incarcerated for 30 long years of his life and this still is not justice for Mr. Reed,” said Mark Clements of Chicago Torture Justice Center. “What people fail to realize is that Jon Burge and his detectives, they tortured confessions out of people. Some of those same detectives are deemed so credible where they are testifying against men and women to keep them in prison.”

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QUOTE TWO OF THE DAY: "Reed’s mother, Armanda Shackelford, told WGN she thought she’d never see the day her son was released from prison. “It shouldn’t have never happened in the first place place,” she said. “They never found any evidence to prove he did those crimes.” Shackelford says she wants the police officers involved in her son’s imprisonment not only to understand how she feels but asks that they hold themselves accountable. “Sir, that was so wrong what you did to my son,” she said. “I hope and pray that you never have the chance to hurt another person. You have to give an account for all the lives you’ve destroyed. All the families you have hurt.”


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STORY: Gerald Reed, who alleged forced confession in Burge era, commuted by Pritzker," by Reporter Rob Sneed, published by WGN 9 on April 1, 2021.


GIST: "Governor J.B. Pritzker has commuted Gerald Reed’s sentence, the man who claimed he was tortured into falsely confessing to a 1990 double murder under former Police Commander Jon Burge.


According to the Office of Gov. Pritzker, Reed was commuted as a result of time served.

Reed has long maintained his innocence, saying that the detectives — Michael Kill and Victor Breska — who forced a confession out of him were part of a squad under Burge’s command.

 

The group was accused of torturing more than 100 suspects — mostly black men — into confessions between 1972 and 1991.


Burge, who was fired from the department in 1993 but allowed to keep his pension, was convicted of perjury. He was sentenced to four years in prison but was never prosecuted for torture. He died in 2018.


The same year, a judge granted Reed a new trial but retired before Reed could have his day in court.


A new judge assigned to the case declined to move forward with a new trial.


“Reed has been incarcerated for 30 long years of his life and this still is not justice for Mr. Reed,” said Mark Clements of Chicago Torture Justice Center. 


“What people fail to realize is that Jon Burge and his detectives, they tortured confessions out of people. Some of those same detectives are deemed so credible where they are testifying against men and women to keep them in prison.”


Reed’s mother, Armanda Shackelford, told WGN she thought she’d never see the day her son was released from prison.


“It shouldn’t have never happened in the first place place,” she said. “They never found any evidence to prove he did those crimes.”


Shackelford says she wants the police officers involved in her son’s imprisonment not only to understand how she feels but asks that they hold themselves accountable.


“Sir, that was so wrong what you did to my son,” she said. “I hope and pray that you never have the chance to hurt another person. You have to give an account for all the lives you’ve destroyed. All the families you have hurt.”


Protesters on Thursday demanded that Cook County Special Prosecutor Robert Milan be stripped from Reed’s case and all others related to Burge.


Moving forward, Shackelford says her son will fight to clear his name and record. Reed is expected to be released from prison on Monday.


“We need to keep fighting,” she said. “I’m not going to give up. We’ve come too far. In this case, it’s come so far. I didn’t think it was going to come to an end. God saw different.""


The Associated Press contributed to this report.


The entire story can be read at:


https://wgntv.com/news/chicago-news/gerald-reed-who-alleged-force-confession-in-burge-era-commuted/


PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I am monitoring this case/issue. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments. The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic"  section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at: http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith. Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at: http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com.  Harold Levy: Publisher: The Charles Smith Blog;
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FINAL WORD:  (Applicable to all of our wrongful conviction cases):  "Whenever there is a wrongful conviction, it exposes errors in our criminal legal system, and we hope that this case — and lessons from it — can prevent future injustices."
Lawyer Radha Natarajan:
Executive Director: New England Innocence Project;
—————————————————————————————————
FINAL, FINAL WORD: "Since its inception, the Innocence Project has pushed the criminal legal system to confront and correct the laws and policies that cause and contribute to wrongful convictions.   They never shied away from the hard cases — the ones involving eyewitness identifications, confessions, and bite marks. Instead, in the course of presenting scientific evidence of innocence, they’ve exposed the unreliability of evidence that was, for centuries, deemed untouchable." So true!
Christina Swarns: Executive Director: The Innocence Project;

Monday, April 19, 2021

False Confession Series: (Part Three): 'Japan's Death Penalty on Trial.'...Iwao Hakamada; Keiko Aohi: Tatsuhiro Buko; It's not just Japan: The Charles Smith Blog looks at a terrible era in American history: The era in which a Chicago Police detective and commander named Jon Burge in the Chicago Police Department was accused of either directly participating in or implicitly approving the torture of at least 118 people in police custody while other officials in the state's criminal justice system resisted attempts to hold him accountable and bring justice to the innocent people he had sent to prison for lengthy terms, even to death row."


PUBLISHER'S NOTE: This Blog is interested in false confessions because of the disturbing number of exonerations in the USA, Canada and multiple other jurisdictions throughout the world, where, in the absence of incriminating forensic evidence the conviction is based on self-incrimination – and because of the growing body of  scientific research showing how vulnerable suspects (especially young suspects)  are to widely used interrogation methods  such as  the notorious ‘Reid Technique.’ As  all too many of this Blog's post have shown, I also recognize that pressure for false confessions can take many forms, up to and including physical violence, even physical and mental torture.

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog:

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PUBLISHER'S NOTE:  In recent posts have focused on the horrific, on-going history of the death penalty in Japan, with specific reference to the case of Iwao Hakamada,  who is listed in The Guinness Book of records as the longest-serving man on death row - and Keiko Aohi and  Tatsuhiro Boku, an innocent  couple, who, like Hakamada had been convicted of murder and sentenced to death after confessions were brutally extorted from them by the police, backed up  by the courts. Victims of a criminal justice system in which torture was, and possibly still is viewed as an acceptable tool for obtaining confessions.  As Japan's Foreign Correspondents Club has pointed out: "Japan is one of only two industrial democracies (with the United States) that retains capital punishment.  The death penalty in Japan has been under fire for years for what one campaigner called its "peculiar cruelties". Inmates like Hakamada are kept in solitary confinement and forced to wait an average of more than seven years, and sometimes decades, in small cells while the legal system grinds on. They live every day believing it could be their last because of a rule that inmates cannot be told of their execution until the morning it happens." It should be noted that Japan is does not stand alone as a nation in which torture has been used as a tolerated  tool to solve crimes. The U. S. A. is a case in point, with particular  reference to an era in Chicago, when an American police detective and commander named Jon Burge in the Chicago Police Department  was accused of  either directly participating in or implicitly approving the torture of at least 118 people in police custody while other officials  in the state's criminal justice system  resisted attempts to hold him accountable and bring justice to the innocent people he had sent to prison for lengthy terms, even to death row.  The story of this awful era  - (this shameful blot on America) - is well told in the followingWikipedia entry.  (Thank you Wikipedia); Here are some excerpts. (The entire entry can be read at the link below.)

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog. 

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PASSAGE ONE OF THE DAY: "According to The Guardian, between 1972 and 1991, Burge "either directly participated in or implicitly approved the torture" of at least 118 people in police custody.[11] Federal prosecutors stated that Burge's use of torture began in 1972.[12][13] Burge was the leader of a group of police officers known variously as the "Midnight Crew", "Burge's Ass-Kickers", or the "A-Team", who abused suspects to coerce confessions.[11] Federal prosecutors stated that the "Midnight Crew" used methods of torture including beating, suffocation, burning, and electrical shock to the genitals, among other methods."

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PASSAGE  TWO OF THE DAY: "The Chicago Police Department had conducted an investigation of Burge through its Office of Professional Standards (OPS). Known as the Goldston Report (September 28, 1990) for its lead investigator,[120] this internal report determined that "the preponderance of evidence is that abuse did occur and that it was systematic."[121]The report, never publicly released, "listed the names of fifty alleged victims of torture and brutality, the names of detectives who had been involved, and stated: 'Particular command members were aware of the systematic abuse and perpetuated it either by actively participating in same or failing to take any action to bring it to an end'."[120]

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PASSAGE THREE OF THE DAY: "On the same day that the court ruled to release the special report, the 36th session of the United Nations Committee Against Torture issued its "Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture" report of the United States. The document states:

The Committee is concerned at allegations of impunity of some of the State party's law-enforcement personnel in respect of acts of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The Committee notes the limited investigation and lack of prosecution in respect of the allegations of torture perpetrated in areas 2 and 3 of the Chicago Police Department (art. 12). The State party should promptly, thoroughly and impartially investigate all allegations of acts of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment by law-enforcement personnel and bring perpetrators to justice, in order to fulfil its obligations under article 12 of the Convention. The State party should also provide the Committee with information on the ongoing investigations and prosecution relating to the above-mentioned case."

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PASSAGE FOUR  OF THE DAY: "In April 2014, the Better Government Association, a non-partisan watchdog group, reported that the city of Chicago had spent more than $521.3 million in the previous decade on lawsuit settlements, judgments, and legal fees for defenses related to police misconduct.

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Jon Burge: POLICE CAREER: 

Burge became a police officer in March 1970 at age 22 on the South Side of Chicago. In 20 years of service, he earned 13 commendations and a letter of praise from the Department of Justice.[5] In May 1972, he was promoted to detective and assigned to Area 2 (Pullman Area) Robbery.[3]

From 1981 to 1986, he served as the commander of the Area 2 Violent crimes Unit until he was promoted to commander of the Bomb and Arson Unit in 1986.[7]

In 1988, Burge became Area 3 (Brighton Park) detective commander.[8][9][10]

Torture:

According to The Guardian, between 1972 and 1991, Burge "either directly participated in or implicitly approved the torture" of at least 118 people in police custody.[11] Federal prosecutors stated that Burge's use of torture began in 1972.[12][13] Burge was the leader of a group of police officers known variously as the "Midnight Crew", "Burge's Ass-Kickers", or the "A-Team", who abused suspects to coerce confessions.[11] Federal prosecutors stated that the "Midnight Crew" used methods of torture including beating, suffocation, burning, and electrical shock to the genitals, among other methods.[12]

Response to 1982 police shootings:

The most prominent events related to his abuses occurred in winter 1982. In February 1982, there were several shootings of law enforcement officers on Chicago's South Side: two Cook County Sheriff's Officers were wounded and a rookie Chicago police officer was shot and killed on a CTA bus on February 5.[14][15]

On February 9, 1982, a person on the street grabbed a police officer's weapon, and shot and killed both the officer and his partner.[16][17][18] This last incident occurred within Burge's jurisdiction; he was a lieutenant and commanding officer of Area 2.[citation needed]

Burge was eager to catch those responsible and launched a wide effort to pick up suspects and arrest them. Initial interrogation procedures allegedly included shooting pets of suspects, handcuffing subjects to stationary objects for entire days, and holding guns to the heads of minors. Jesse JacksonOperation PUSH spokesman; the Chicago Defender; and black Chicago Police officers were outraged. Renault Robinson, president of Chicago's Afro-American Police League characterized the dragnet operation as "sloppy police work, a matter of racism."[19] Jackson complained that the black community was being held under martial law.[20] The police captured suspects for the killings on February 9 through identification by other suspects. Tyrone Sims identified Donald "Kojak" White as the shooter, and Kojak was linked to Andrew and Jackie Wilson by having committed a burglary with them earlier on the day of the killings.[21]

Torture of Andrew Wilson:

-------------------------------------------

Andrew Wilson was arrested on the morning of February 14, 1982 for the murder of the last two police officers.[10] By the end of the day, he was taken by police and admitted to Mercy Hospital and Medical Center with lacerations on various parts of his head, including his face, chest bruises and second-degree thigh burns.[10] More than a dozen of the injuries were documented as caused while Wilson was in police custody.[5]

Both Andrew Wilson and his brother Jackie confessed to involvement in the February 9 fatal shootings of the police officers.[22] A medical officer who saw Andrew Wilson sent a memo to Richard M. Daley, then Cook County State's Attorney, asking for his case to be investigated on suspicion of police brutality.[23]

Criminal trial:

During a two-week trial in 1983, Andrew Wilson was convicted of the killings and given a death penalty sentence. His brother, Jackie, was convicted as an accomplice and given a life sentence.[24] Both appealed their convictions. In 1985, Jackie Wilson's conviction was overturned by the Illinois Appellate Court because his right to remain silent had not been properly explained by the police.[24]

As Andrew Wilson had been given a death sentence, his case was not reviewable on the same grounds by the Appellate Court, and it went directly to the Illinois Supreme Court.[24] In April 1987, the Supreme Court overturned Andrew's conviction with a ruling that his confession had been coerced involuntarily from him while under duress. It ordered a new trial.[25]

In October 1987, the appellate court further ruled that Jackie Wilson should have been tried separately from his brother. He was convicted as an accomplice at his second trial. The court also ruled that evidence against Andrew Wilson, regarding other matters for which the police wanted him, was incorrectly admitted at his trial on murder charges.[26]

His case was remanded to the lower court for retrial. Andrew Wilson was convicted at his second trial in June 1988.[27] After five days of deliberation, the jury was unable to agree on Wilson's eligibility for the death penalty; ten women were in favor of imposing this sentence and two men opposed it.[28] The following month Andrew Wilson was sentenced to life imprisonment.[29]

Wilson's civil suit against officers and city: 

In 1989, seven years after his arrest in 1982, Andrew Wilson filed a civil suit against four detectives (including Burge), a former police superintendent, and the City of Chicago. He said that he had been beaten, suffocated with a plastic bag, burned (by cigarette and radiator), and treated with electric shock by police officers when interrogated about the February 1982 murders; he also had been the victim of the pattern of a police and city cover-up.[30]

Jury selection for the civil trial began on February 15, 1989.[10] The original six-person jury (as was customary for civil trials in Illinois) consisted of two women and four men. By ethnicity it was made up of three African Americans, one Latino, and two whites.[31]

When Burge took the stand on March 13, 1989, he denied that he injured Andrew Wilson during questioning and denied any knowledge of any such activity by other officers.[32][33]

Wilson's legal team, led by G. Flint Taylor of the People's Law Office, received anonymous letters during the trial from a person claiming to be an officer who worked with Burge. This person alleged that the Wilson case was part of a larger pattern of police torture of African-American suspects, which was sanctioned by Burge.[34]U.S. District Judge Brian Barnett Duff did not permit the jury to hear this anonymous evidence.[35]

Gradually, the cases of the other officers named in Wilson's suit were resolved. On March 15, 1989, Sergeant Thomas McKenna was acquitted of brutality;[36] and on March 30, 1989, detectives John Yucaitis and Patrick O'Hara were each acquitted of charges by a unanimous jury.[37] But, the jury was at an impasse regarding Burge.[37]

Duff ordered a retrial for Burge, former Police Supt. Richard J. Brzeczek, and the City of Chicago on two other outstanding charges (conspiracy and whether the City of Chicago's policy toward police brutality contributed to Wilson's injuries).[31][38] Burge was acquitted of these charges in a second trial, which began on June 9, 1989, and lasted nine weeks.[39][40]

Burge was accused of using a cattle prod against suspects.

The verdict in the civil case had two points: jurors found that the City of Chicago employed a policy of using excessive force on suspected killers of police officers, but Wilson specifically had not been tortured.[41]

Increasing reports of torture and new civil suits:

The first lengthy report of torture by the Chicago police was published beginning in January 1990 in the alternative weekly Chicago Reader.[19] Through that year, as additional material was published by the Chicago Tribune, civil activists and victims of Burge pushed for disciplinary action against the officer.[42][43]

Danny K. Davis, who was running for Chicago mayor in the Democratic primary scheduled for February 26, 1991, made police brutality and excessive force an issue in the campaign. He sought an independent citizens' review of the police department.[13]On January 28, 1991, Amnesty International called for an investigation into police torture in Chicago.[44][45] When the city's mayor, Richard M. Daley, seemed reluctant to initiate an investigation, his opponent Davis questioned whether there was a police and city coverup.[41]

Eventually, after pressure by citizens' organizations and anti-brutality organizations, the police department resumed an internal investigation.[46]

In 1991, Gregory Banks filed a civil suit for $16 million in damages against Burge, three colleagues, and the City of Chicago for condoning brutality and torture. He said that he had falsely confessed in 1983 to murder after he was tortured by officers: they placed a plastic bag over his head, put a gun in his mouth, and performed other acts. He claimed officers abused eleven other suspects, using such measures as electro-shock. The suit was brought by the People's Law Office attorneys who had represented Andrew Wilson in the 1989 police brutality case.[47] The suit described 23 incidents against black and Hispanic suspects between 1972 and 1985.[48]Banks' suit named Sergeant Peter Dignan as one of the officers involved in the abuses. In 1995, Dignan was promoted for meritorious service, even though the City of Chicago had settled out of court with Banks on his suit.[49]

In 1993, Marcus Wiggins filed a third suit against Burge and the city, saying that he had been subjected at the age of 13 to electric shock during interrogation and forced into a coerced confession.[50][51]

In November 1991, the Chicago Police Department's Office of Professional Standards (OPS), the internal affairs division that investigates complaints of police misconduct,[52] acknowledged an October 25, 1991 request for action against Burge. This was a common precursor to a police dismissal and gave the City of Chicago's Corporation counsel 30 days to consider the report.[53][54] Burge was suspended for 30 days pending separation, starting on November 8, 1991.[55]

The Chicago Police Board set a November 25 hearing to formalize the firing of Burge and two detectives based on 30 counts of abuse and brutality against Wilson.[56]The hearing reviewed the internal police investigation finding that Burge and Detective John Yucaitis had physically abused Andrew Wilson in 1982, while Detective Patrick O'Hara did nothing to stop them.[57]

The suspension attracted controversy after the 30-day period ended, and the officers remained suspended without pay. They sued for reinstatement,[58] but their claims for reinstatement were initially denied.[59]

During the hearing, an internal report, which had been suppressed for years, revealed earlier police review findings that criminal suspects were subjected to systematic brutality at the Area 2 detective headquarters for 12 years and that supervisory commanders had knowledge of the abuses.[60][61]

During the February 1992 hearings, several alleged victims testified against Burge.[62][63][64]

The internal hearing concluded in March 1992,[65] and the Chicago Police Board found Burge guilty of "physically abusing" an accused murderer 11 years earlier; it ordered his firing from the police force on February 10, 1993.[66]

Detectives Yucaitis and O'Hara were given 15-month suspensions without pay and reinstated, which amounted to a penalty equal to time served.[5][66][67] Upon reinstatement the two detectives were initially demoted,[68] but about one year later, they were reinstated at full-rank with backpay for time served while demoted.[69]

Burge attempted to have the ruling overturned,[70][71] but the suspension and subsequent firing were upheld.[72][73]

Due to the internal hearing, the City of Chicago was simultaneously paying lawyers to defend Burge during an appeal by Wilson and a new civil case by Banks, while employing lawyers to prosecute him on departmental charges.[74] The City hired outside counsel to prosecute the detectives at the internal hearing.[57] After having spent $750,000 to defend Burge in the Wilson case, the City of Chicago debated whether to follow normal procedures and pay for the defense of its police officers.[75]

In 1993, Andrew Wilson was granted a new judicial hearing in his civil case against Burge by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.[76] The ruling was based on the fact that during the 1989 civil suit, the officers' defense had worked to "immerse the jury in the sordid details of Wilson's crimes" and did not respond to a suspect's "right to be free from torture and the correlative right to present his claim of torture to a jury that has not been whipped into a frenzy of hatred".[77]

An investigation conducted by Chicago Police Department's Office of Professional Standards (OPS) concluded in 1994 that Burge and his detectives engaged in "methodical" and "systematic" torture, and "The type of abuse described was not limited to the usual beating, but went into such esoteric areas as psychological techniques and planned torture."[78]

Abuse-related legal decisions:

As more information about Burge's reign was published, activists worked on behalf of Chicago inmates on death row who claimed to have been wrongfully convicted. In 1998, representatives from the MacArthur Justice Center at the University of Chicago Law School, the London-based International Center for Criminal Law and Human Rights, law professor Anthony Amsterdam, former federal judges George N. Leighton and Abner Mikva, Illinois judge R. Eugene Pincham, and activist Bianca Jagger, called for a stay of execution for Aaron Patterson, a death row inmate from Chicago. His conviction for murder was based primarily on a confession which he claimed was coerced by torture from Burge and his officers.[79][80][81]

In 1999, lawyers for several death row inmates began to call for a special review of convictions that were based on evidence and confessions extracted by Burge and his colleagues. These inmates: Aaron Patterson; Madison Hobley; Stanley Howard; Leonard Kidd; Derrick King; Ronald Kitchen; Reginald Mahaffey; Jerry Mahaffey; Andrew Maxwell, and Leroy Orange, became known as the "Death Row 10".[82]

In the 1990 Goldston Report, the City of Chicago listed 50 alleged instances of police brutality and abuse by Burge and other officers.[83] Chicago had struggled for decades with the issue of coerced confessions; in the 1990s it quietly reopened several controversial brutality cases. Despite an extensive investigation into the actions by a number of police employees, few others but Burge were sanctioned.[84]

Several politicians, including US Representative Bobby Rush, requested that State's Attorney Richard A. Devine seek new trials for the Death Row 10 who were allegedly tortured by Burge into making coerced confessions.[85] Devine met with representatives and supporters of the inmates[86] and was convinced to request that the Illinois Supreme Court stay proceedings against three of the inmates.[87] However, the Illinois Supreme Court denied Devine's request.[88][89] Rush sought out Attorney General Janet Reno to pursue federal intervention.[90]

In February 1999, David Protess, a Northwestern University journalism professor, and his students were studying cases of people on death row. They discovered evidence related to death row inmate Anthony Porter that might help exonerate him.[91][92]

The students produced four affidavits and a videotaped statement that attributed guilt for the crime to another suspect. They obtained recantations by some witnesses of their testimony at trial. One witness claimed that he named Porter as a suspect only after police officers threatened, harassed and intimidated him into doing so.[93][94]

In 2000,[95] Governor Ryan placed a moratorium on executions in Illinois after courts exonerated and freed 13 death row inmates who had been wrongfully convicted.[5][96] Ryan also promised to review the cases of all Illinois death row inmates.[97]

Given the number of cases of alleged brutality to be investigated, inmates who claimed to have been abused and gave coerced confessions were offered reduced sentences in exchange for dropping charges. A plea agreement was reached with one convicted victim.[98][99] Aaron Patterson rejected the plea deal.[100]

On January 11, 2003, having lost confidence in the state's death penalty system,[101] the outgoing Governor Ryan commuted the death sentences of 167 prisoners on Illinois' death row.[96][2] He granted clemency by converting their death sentences to sentences of life without parole in most cases, while reducing some sentences.[102][103]

In addition, Ryan had already pardoned four death row inmates: Madison Hobley, Aaron Patterson, Leroy Orange and Stanley Howard, who were among the ten who claimed they were coerced into confessing by Burge and his officers and had been wrongfully convicted.[104][105]

Daley, at the time the Cook County State's Attorney, has been accused by the Illinois General Assembly of failing to act on information he possessed on the conduct of Burge and others.[44] Daley acknowledged his responsibility to be proactive in stopping torture, but denies any knowledge which could have made him responsible.[106]

On July 19, 2006, Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. issued a press release calling Mayor Daley culpable, possibly even criminally culpable, for his failure to prosecute until the statute of limitations had run out.[107] Jackson called for an investigation to determine if there was any planned delay in order to allow the cases to expire.[107]Death penalty opponents requested that U.S. President Bill Clinton follow Ryan's lead in halting executions.[95]

In August 2000, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed or remanded two Burge-related death row cases based on allegations of torture by police.[108][109]

Civil suits by pardoned men:

After being pardoned by Governor Ryan, Burge's accusers from death row began to file lawsuits against the city and its officers. Madison Hobley was the first of the four pardoned inmates to file suit in May 2003.[110][111] Aaron Patterson followed in June with a lawsuit,[112][113] and Stanley Howard filed suit in November 2003.[114][115]LeRoy Orange also filed suit.

The four men filed suit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against the City of Chicago, Burge, several of Burge's former subordinate police detectives, Cook County, and a few current and former State's Attorneys and assistant state's attorneys of Cook County (the precise list of police officers and prosecutors varied somewhat from plaintiff to plaintiff). Although each case was randomly assigned to a different district judge, the parties all consented to have the four cases consolidated for discovery management before Magistrate Judge Geraldine Soat Brown. In December 2007, a settlement of $19.8 million was reached between the plaintiffs and the so-called "city defendants," consisting of the City of Chicago, Burge, the other former detectives, and Richard M. Daley (former Cook County State's Attorney and Mayor of Chicago at the time of the settlement).[116][117][118][119]

Special investigations


The Chicago Police Department had conducted an investigation of Burge through its Office of Professional Standards (OPS). Known as the Goldston Report (September 28, 1990) for its lead investigator,[120] this internal report determined that "the preponderance of evidence is that abuse did occur and that it was systematic."[121]

The report, never publicly released, "listed the names of fifty alleged victims of torture and brutality, the names of detectives who had been involved, and stated: 'Particular command members were aware of the systematic abuse and perpetuated it either by actively participating in same or failing to take any action to bring it to an end'."[120]

In 2002, the Cook County Bar association, the Justice Coalition of Chicago and others petitioned for a review of the allegations against Burge.[122] Edward Egan, a former prosecutor, Illinois Appellate Court jurist was appointed as a Special State's Attorney ("special prosecutor") to investigate allegations dating back to 1973.[123] He hired an assistant, several lawyers, and retired Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents.[5] Former prosecutor Robert D. Boyle was also appointed as a special prosecutor.[124]

In 2003, former Chief of the Special Prosecution Division of the U.S. Attorney's Office, Gordon B. Nash Jr., was appointed as an additional special prosecutor.[125]

A total of 60 cases were ordered to be reviewed.[121] A special prosecutor was hired because Cook County State's Attorney, Richard Devine, had a conflict of interest stemming from his tenure at the law firm of Phelan, Pope & John, which had defended Burge in two federal suits.[121] Criminal Courts Judge Paul P. Biebel Jr. presided over the determination of the need of a review to determine the propriety of criminal charges and the appointment of the special prosecutor.[121]

During the written phase of the investigation, Burge and eight other officers pleaded the Fifth Amendment.[126] On September 1, 2004, Burge was served with a subpoena to testify before a grand jury in an ongoing criminal investigation of police torture while in town for depositions on civil lawsuits at his attorney's office.[127]Burge pleaded the Fifth Amendment to virtually every question during a 4-hour civil case deposition.[127] He answered only questions about his name, his boat's name (Vigilante), and his $30,000 annual pension.[127] The City of Chicago continues to be bound by court order to pay Burge's legal fees.[127] Eventually, three police officers were granted immunity in order to further the investigation into Burge.[128]

The incident prompted the city to request the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to allot the torture victims an hour-long hearing at their October 2005 session.[129][130]

On May 19, 2006 the court ruled that the city had to release the special report on torture accusations, as there was a compelling public interest in the material.[131]Previous police investigations had not been publicly released. On June 20, 2006, the Illinois Supreme Court unblocked the release of the special report by Egan, which took 4 years and cost $17 million.[132] In the end the group evaluated 148 cases.[96] The investigation revealed that in three of the cases, prosecutors could have proved, beyond a reasonable doubt in court, that torture by the police had occurred; five former officers including Burge were involved.[96][133] Half of the claims were deemed credible, but because the timing of the cases exceeded the statute of limitations for police abuse of suspects, no indictments were made.[133]

Daley and all law enforcement officials who had been deposed were excluded from the report.[133] Among the final costs were $6.2 million for the investigation and $7 million to hire outside counsel for Burge and his cohort.[134] Egan explained his report to the public with legal theories and federal jurisdiction issues.[135]

On the same day that the court ruled to release the special report, the 36th session of the United Nations Committee Against Torture issued its "Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture" report of the United States. The document states:

The Committee is concerned at allegations of impunity of some of the State party's law-enforcement personnel in respect of acts of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The Committee notes the limited investigation and lack of prosecution in respect of the allegations of torture perpetrated in areas 2 and 3 of the Chicago Police Department (art. 12). The State party should promptly, thoroughly and impartially investigate all allegations of acts of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment by law-enforcement personnel and bring perpetrators to justice, in order to fulfil its obligations under article 12 of the Convention. The State party should also provide the Committee with information on the ongoing investigations and prosecution relating to the above-mentioned case.[136]

Burge in Florida:

After being fired, Burge moved to Apollo Beach, Florida, a suburb of Tampa. He continued to receive a police pension as entitled under Illinois state law.[5] In 1994, he bought his current wood-frame home for $154,000 and a 22 ft (6.7 m) motorboat.[5] While a police officer, Burge had owned a 40-foot (12 m) cabin cruiser named The Vigilante, which he maintained at Burnham Harbor.[137] Upon retiring at full pension, he ran a fishing business in Florida.[82] The precise amount of his pension is not a matter of public record, but he was eligible for 50% of his approximately $60,000 salary.[138]

Aftermath: legal changes:

In response to the revelations of torture by Chicago police, the state legislature began to consider a bill in 1999 mandating the videotaping of interrogations in homicide cases.[139][140] Then-Illinois State Senator Barack Obama pushed the mandated video recording bill through the Illinois State Senate in 2003.[141] It was put into effect in 2005, after interrogation rooms had been outfitted and training of officers had been done.[142]

There were numerous legislative reforms passed in 2003 that were related to improving use of the death penalty and preventing wrongful convictions. After Governor Rod Blagojevich, a Democrat, vetoed some provisions,[143][144] the state house voted unanimously 115-0 to pass the package, overriding his veto. Reforms included giving the "Illinois Supreme Court greater power to throw out unjust verdicts, gives defendants more access to evidence, and bars the death penalty in cases based on a single witness. The reforms are among the 80 recommendations made by the Illinois Commission on Capital Punishment, formed in 2000 by former Governor George Ryan to address wrongful convictions and the state's broken death penalty system."[145]

Arrest:

Although Burge had been presumed to be protected by a statute of limitations, the US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, Patrick Fitzgerald, in October 2008 charged Burge with two counts of obstruction of justice and one count of perjury.[146][147] Burge was arrested on October 21, 2008 at his home in Apollo Beach by FBI agents.[148]

Under the charges, Burge could have been subject to 40 years in prison for the two obstruction counts and five years on the perjury count.[149] The charges were the result of convicted felon Madison Hobley's 2003 civil rights lawsuit alleging police beatings, electric shocks and death threats by Burge and other officers against dozens of criminal suspects.[148]

Burge pleaded not guilty and was released on $250,000 bond.[150] Fitzgerald noted that although Burge was being charged with lying, and not the torture to which the statute of limitations applied, he believed Burge to be guilty of both.[150]

In the October 21 press conference, Fitzgerald stated that Burge had "lied and impeded court proceedings" during his 2003 written testimony.[146] In the indictment, the prosecution stated that Burge understood that he was a participant in and was aware of "such events involving the abuse or torture of people in custody".[146] The trial was set for May 11, 2009.[150] Instead, on April 29, Burge filed a change-of-venue motion, in relation to the lawsuit filed by former Death Row inmate Madison Hobley, and Burge's trial was set for October 29, 2009.[151][152]

Also in April, Cortez Brown, an inmate who had sought a new trial with respect to his conviction in two 1990 murders, to which he said he had confessed under physical coercion, had already subpoenaed two Chicago police detectives for his May 18, 2009 hearing. He won the right from a Cook County judge to subpoena Burge. Burge was expected to exercise his 5th Amendment right not to incriminate himself.[153] The Florida judge refused to grant the subpoena, given the likelihood that Burge would exercise his 5th amendment right.[154]

On May 6, 2010, jury selection began for the Burge trial for perjury and obstruction of justice.[155] 80 potential jurors were given a 29-page questionnaire to complete. Attorneys had until May 24 to review the questionnaires before final jury selection began. An additional batch of 90 potential jurors was given a questionnaire on May 17.[156]

The trial heard its first testimony on May 26.[157] Burge testified in his own defense for six hours on June 17 and on subsequent days.[158][159] Closing arguments were heard on June 24,[160] and jury deliberations began on June 25.[161]

On June 28, Burge was convicted on all three counts: two counts of obstruction of justice and one count of perjury.[162]

On January 21, 2011, Burge was sentenced to four and a half years in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow.[163][164][165] The federal probation office had recommended a 15- to 21-month sentence, while prosecutors had requested as much as 30 years.[166] Burge served his sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution Butner Low near Butner, North Carolina. Burge's projected release date was February 14, 2015;[167] he was released from prison on October 3, 2014.[168] Plans to file federal civil lawsuits against Burge, Daley, and others were announced in 2010.[169]

City costs for police misconduct: 

In April 2014, the Better Government Association, a non-partisan watchdog group, reported that the city of Chicago had spent more than $521.3 million in the previous decade on lawsuit settlements, judgments, and legal fees for defenses related to police misconduct. In 2013, the most expensive year, it paid more than $83.6 million.[170]

The city paid a total of $391.5 million in settlements and judgments.

More than a quarter, or $110.3 million, was related to 24 wrongful-conviction lawsuits. A dozen of those 24 involved now-imprisoned [as of April 2014] former Chicago police Cmdr. Jon Burge, whose detectives were accused of torturing confessions out of mostly black male suspects over many years. Overall, the city has paid alleged victims of Burge detectives more than $57 million, records show.[170]

Torture Inquiry Relief Commission:

In 2009, the state legislature passed a bill authorizing creation of the Illinois Torture Inquiry Relief Commission (TIRC) to investigate cases of people "in which police torture might have resulted in wrongful convictions". In some cases, allegedly coerced confessions were the only evidence leading to convictions. Its scope is limited to people tortured by Burge or by other officers under his authority, as made explicit in the law and by an appellate court review in March 2016. That month, the court also ruled that the TIRC does have jurisdiction in cases of detectives who once served under Burge, even if the claim was for a later incident.[171]

Beginning in 2011, the TIRC has referred 17 cases to the circuit court for judicial review for potential relief. Three people have been freed based on review of their cases. Individuals may initiate claims to the commission. As of April 2016, 130 other cases have been heard of torture that was not committed by Burge or his subordinates. The city and state are struggling to determine how to treat this high number of torture victims in a just way. The sponsors of the bill tried to amend it in 2014 to expand its scope to all claims of torture by police in Chicago, but were unable to get support in the state house. They will try again.[171]

Culture of violence:

In 2011, the Cook County State's Attorney, Anita Alvarez, compelled the Office of Conviction Integrity to review cases of convictions dependent on evidence from homicide detective Richard Zuley of the Chicago Police Department.[172] In 2013, Lathierial Boyd, a man whose conviction was dependent on Zuley's evidence, won exoneration and freedom after 23 years in prison due to wrongful conviction; it was found that Zuley had suppressed exculpatory evidence.[173]

Discussing the larger culture of violence that Chicago police had created, journalist Spencer Ackerman in February 2015 reported that Zuley, by then retired from CPD, had served in 2003–2004 with the US Navy Reserve as an interrogator at Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba, established by the George W. Bush administration.[174] (Zuley had returned to the CPD after his Navy service.)[175][174]

In 2003, one of his subjects was the high-profile detainee Mohamedou Ould Slahi, for whom the Secretary of Defense had authorized extended interrogation techniques, since classified as torture. Slahi's memoir, Guantanamo Diary, was published in January 2015, and quickly became an international bestseller.[174] He detailed the torture he suffered. Ackerman noted that inmates with claims or suits against Zuley had recounted details that are similar to the physical and psychological abuse against Slahi.[174] Local Chicago publications identified Zuley as a protege of Burge,[175][174] but Ackerman said that the two officers never served together. Zuley primarily served on the North Side.[176]

City reparations:

On April 14, 2015, the Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, announced the creation of a $5.5 million city fund for individuals who could prove that they were victimized by Burge.[177]

Burge broke his silence to say he found it hard to believe that Chicago political leadership could "even contemplate giving reparations to human vermin".[178] The fund was approved by the Chicago City Council on May 6, 2015.[179]

In approving the reparations, Chicago became the first municipal government to approve compensating victims who have valid claims of police torture.[180] Under the terms, about 60 living victims would each be eligible to receive up to $100,000. The living survivors and their immediate families, and the immediate families of the deceased torture victims, would also be given access to services, including psychological counseling and free tuition to the City Colleges of Chicago. Additionally, the city approved building a public memorial to the deceased victims[181] and established a requirement that students in the eighth and tenth grades attending Chicago Public Schools learn about the Burge legacy.[180]

At the May Council meeting, as more than a dozen Burge survivors looked on, Mayor Emanuel offered an official apology on behalf of the City of Chicago, and the aldermen stood and applauded.[182] G. Flint Taylor, an attorney with the People's Law Office and part of the legal team that negotiated the deal, said in an interview that the "non-financial reparations make it truly historic".[183] Taylor predicted that the reparations will be a "beacon for other cities here and across the world for dealing with racist police brutality."[180]

Death:

Burge died at age 70 on September 19, 2018, at his home in Apollo Beach, Florida.[184][185][186] Burge was previously treated for prostate cancer.[187][185] In response to his death, Reverend Jesse Jackson said: "As a policeman, [Burge] did a lot of harm to a lot of people. ... We pray for his family, because that's the appropriate thing to do".

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The entire Wikipedia entry can be read at: 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Burge

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PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I am monitoring this case/issue. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments. The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic"  section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at: http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith. Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at: http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com.  Harold Levy: Publisher: The Charles Smith Blog;
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FINAL WORD:  (Applicable to all of our wrongful conviction cases):  "Whenever there is a wrongful conviction, it exposes errors in our criminal legal system, and we hope that this case — and lessons from it — can prevent future injustices."
Lawyer Radha Natarajan:
Executive Director: New England Innocence Project;
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FINAL, FINAL WORD: "Since its inception, the Innocence Project has pushed the criminal legal system to confront and correct the laws and policies that cause and contribute to wrongful convictions.   They never shied away from the hard cases — the ones involving eyewitness identifications, confessions, and bite marks. Instead, in the course of presenting scientific evidence of innocence, they’ve exposed the unreliability of evidence that was, for centuries, deemed untouchable." So true!
Christina Swarns: Executive Director: The Innocence Project;