FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Torture and Justice in Chicago

by STANLEY HOWARD

After years of fighting, organizing and exposing the cases of the Death Row 10 and the entire Burge torture scandal, we now stand at a major turning point in our movement.

In 2002, we won the right to have a special prosecutor investigate the issue of police torture. I was thrilled with having independent investigators look into this scandal, because I was positive it would reveal that fired Chicago police Commander Jon Burge and his underlings (who were all white) had systematically tortured over 150 Black criminal suspects.

Finally, after four long years of nail-biting anticipation, Special Prosecutors Edward Egan and Robert Bole finally released their report. They found credible evidence of torture, but claimed that the statute of limitations had expired on bringing charges.

The report took everyone by surprise, because it was an obvious attempt to cover up and whitewash the role many public officials played in the scandal, including Chicagoís current mayor, Richard M. Daley, the top stateís attorney who prosecuted over 55 torture victims.

The whitewash was immediately recognized by the media, lawyers, activists, community leaders and the public, and is being considered a waste of $7 million of taxpayersí money.

Egan, Boyle and the investigators they hired all have strong ties with the Cook County stateís attorneyís office. And it was recently revealed that Egan has nine family members who are cops or ex-cops, with a nephew who worked directly under Burge.

Maybe I expected too much. Did I really expect for the ex-stateís attorney and people with ties to the system to tell the world that the system is corrupt, racist and unjust? Did I expect for them to bring down so many public officials, including Daley and Devine, simply because a bunch of poor Black men were tortured and sent to prison and death row?

What I didnít expect was for them to go far beyond their job description, revealing their true motive and bias by emphatically stating, ìNo one was wrongfully convicted based on a torture confession.î

These ex-stateís attorneys did their best to make four members of the Death Row 10 (Madison Hobley, Leroy Orange, Aaron Patterson and myself) look guilty, even through we were pardoned by then-Gov. Ryan on the basis of innocence.

They tried to accomplish this by highlighting every contradiction in our case, regardless of how minor, and by presenting the evidence from a prosecutorís point of viewówithout presenting any of the strong evidence pointing towards our innocence.

Luckily, their bias and attempted whitewash has backfired. It has given to us the kind of momentum and support needed to bring those involved to justice and to give justice to the incarcerated torture victims who are still serving long prison sentences and life without parole.

STANLEY HOWARD lives in Mount Sterling, Illinois.

This article originally appeared in The New Abolitionist, the newsletter of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty.

 

 

February 11, 2016
Bruce Lesnick
Flint: A Tale of Two Cities
Ajamu Baraka
Beyonce and the Politics of Cultural Dominance
Shamus Cooke
Can the Establishment Fix Its Bernie Sanders Problem?
John Hazard
The Pope in Mexico: More Harm Than Good?
Joyce Nelson
Trudeau & the Saudi Arms Deal
Zarefah Baroud
The Ever-Dangerous Mantra “Drill, Baby Drill”
Anthony DiMaggio
Illinois’ Manufactured Budget Crisis
Colin Todhunter
Indian Food and Agriculture Under Attack
Binoy Kampmark
Warring Against Sanders: Totalitarian Thinking, Feminism and the Clintons
Robert Koehler
Presidential Politics and the American Soul
Thomas Knapp
Election 2016: The Banality of Evil on Steroids
Cesar Chelala
Is Microcephaly in Children Caused by the Zika Virus or by Pesticides?
February 10, 2016
Eoin Higgins
Clinton and the Democratic Establishment: the Ties That Bind
Fred Nagel
The Role of Legitimacy in Social Change
Jeffrey St. Clair
Why Bernie Still Won’t Win
Mike Whitney
Putin’s Aleppo Gamble Pays Off
Chris Martenson
The Return of Crisis: Everywhere Banks are in Deep Trouble
Ramzy Baroud
Next Onslaught in Gaza: Why the Status Quo Is a Precursor for War
Sheldon Richman
End, Don’t Extend, Draft Registration
Benjamin Willis
Obama in Havana
Jack Smith
Obama Intensifies Wars and Threats of War
Rob Hager
How Hillary Clinton Co-opted the Term “Progressive”
Mark Boothroyd
Syria: Peace Talks Collapse, Aleppo Encircled, Disaster Looms
Lawrence Ware
If You Hate Cam Newton, It’s Probably Because He’s Black
Jesse Jackson
Starving Government Creates Disasters Like Flint
Bill Laurance
A Last Chance for the World’s Forests?
Gary Corseri
ABC’s of the US Empire
Frances Madeson
The Pain of the Earth: an Interview With Duane “Chili” Yazzie
Binoy Kampmark
The New Hampshire Distortion: The Primaries Begin
Andrew Raposa
Portugal: Europe’s Weak Link?
Wahid Azal
Dugin’s Occult Fascism and the Hijacking of Left Anti-Imperialism and Muslim Anti-Salafism
February 09, 2016
Andrew Levine
Hillary Says the Darndest Things
Paul Street
Kill King Capital
Ben Burgis
Lesser Evil Voting and Hillary Clinton’s War on the Poor
Paul Craig Roberts
Are the Payroll Jobs Reports Merely Propaganda Statements?
Fran Quigley
How Corporations Killed Medicine
Ted Rall
How Bernie Can Pay for His Agenda: Slash the Military
Neve Gordon
Israeli Labor Party Adopts the Apartheid Mantra
Kristin Kolb
The “Great” Bear Rainforest Agreement? A Love Affair, Deferred
Joseph Natoli
Politics and Techno-Consciousness
Hrishikesh Joshi
Selective Attention to Diversity: the Case of Cruz and Rubio
Stavros Mavroudeas
Why Syriza is Sinking in Greece
David Macaray
Attention Peyton Manning: Leave Football and Concentrate on Pizza
Arvin Paranjpe
Opening Your Heart
Kathleen Wallace
Boys, Hell, and the Politics of Vagina Voting
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail