In an historic development in the decades-old effort to win justice for more than a hundred police torture victims in Chicago, former police commander Jon Burge was found guilty of perjury and obstruction of justice on Monday. To find Burge guilty of the perjury/obstruction charges, the jury clearly had to find that Burge lied when he claimed he and his henchmen were innocent of torture.
Charges first began to surface in the 1970's that Burge and his accomplices ran torture rings out of two police districts on Chicago's south side. While Burge was fired for misconduct in 1993, neither he nor any of his crime partners has ever been held criminally accountable for those atrocities. There is no law in Illinois or nationally that explicitly makes torture of people by cops a crime, and the statute of limitations has run out on crimes with which Burge COULD have been charged at the time, like assault. Now, human rights groups want criminal prosecutions for lying about the torture ring expanded to the other members of Burge's torture rings, and they're also demanding new federal and state laws that would explicitly criminalize torture by government agencies and their employees — with NO statute of limitations on those crimes against humanity. Meanwhile, dozens of Burge's victims — wrongfully imprisoned after he and his fellow criminals forced false confessions from them — remain behind bars. Read more.
Related Links: Jail Jon Burge | JJB Torture Archive: Background articles by John Conroy, (Chicago Reader) | People's Law Office | Illinois Coalition Against Torture
Video: Democracy Now: Trial Begins For Ex-Chicago Police Lt. Accused Of Torturing More Than 100 African American Men | Labor Beat: Burge is indicted.
Radio: Guilty verdict in Chicago police brutality case. Free Speech Radio News/Pacifica
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