A class action petition on behalf of prisoners whose cases rested all or in part on statements obtained through torture was filed Tuesday.
Lawyers from the MacArthur Justice Center and the People's Law Office are asking that a process be set up to get to the bottom of the question of whether any state prison inmates are incarcerated because of confessions or statements obtained through torture under former Chicago Police Cmdr. Jon Burge.
Burge and his rogue cops tortured numerous African-American men into making confessions in the 1970s and 1980s.
Former Illinois Gov. James R. Thompson and other well-known names including former U.S. Attorneys Thomas Sullivan and Dan Webb and former Chicago Police Supt. Richard Brzeczek in the legal field filed a supporting friend of the court brief today as well.
Three years ago, Illinois set up a special commission to investigate whether police torture led to the conviction of innocent men. And the Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission did in fact document several cases. But the Legislature cut the commission's funding from $150,000 a year to zero, effective June 30.
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