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.

 

 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

December 06, 2016
Anthony DiMaggio
Post-Fact Politics: Reviewing the History of Fake News and Propaganda
Richard Moser
Standing Rock: Challenge to the Establishment, School for the Social Movements
Norman Solomon
Media Complicity is Key to Blacklisting Websites
Michael J. Sainato
Elizabeth Warren’s Shameful Exploitation of Standing Rock Victory
David Rosen
State Power and Terror: From Wounded Knee to Standing Rock
Kim Ives
Deconstructing Another Right-Wing Victory in Haiti
Nile Bowie
South Korea’s Presidency On A Knife-Edge
Mateo Pimentel
Some Notes and a Song for Standing Rock
Bill Fletcher Jr – Bob Wing
Fighting Back Against the White Revolt of 2016
Peter Lee
Is America Ready for a War on White Privilege?
Pepe Escobar
The Rules of the (Trump) Game
W. T. Whitney
No Peace Yet in Colombia Despite War’s End
Mark Weisbrot
Castro Was Right About US Policy in Latin America
David Swanson
New Rogue Anti-Russia Committee Created in “Intelligence” Act
George Ochenski
Forests of the Future: Local or National Control?
December 05, 2016
Bill Martin
Stalingrad at Standing Rock?
Mark A. Lause
Recounting a Presidential Election: the Backstory
Mel Goodman
Mad Dog Mattis and Trump’s “Seven Days in May”
Matthew Hannah
Standing Rock and the Ideology of Oppressors: Conversations with a Morton County Commissioner
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
#NoDAPL Scores Major Victory: No Final Permit For Pipeline
Fran Shor
The End of the Indispensable Nation
Michael Yates
Vietnam: the War That Won’t Go Away
Michael Uhl
Notes on a Trip to Cuba
Robert Hunziker
Huge Antarctica Glacier in Serious Trouble
John Steppling
Screen Life
David Macaray
Trump vs. America’s Labor Unions
Yoav Litvin
Break Free and Lead, or Resign: a Letter to Bernie Sanders
Norman Pollack
Taiwan: A Pustule on International Politics
Kevin Martin
Nuclear Weapons Modernization: a New Nuclear Arms Race? Who Voted for it? Who Will Benefit from It?
David Mattson
3% is not Enough: Towards Restoring Grizzly Bears
Howard Lisnoff
The Person Who Deciphered the Order to Shoot at Kent State
Dave Archambault II
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Statement on Dakota Access Pipeline Decision
Nick Pemberton
Make America Late Again
Weekend Edition
December 02, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
The Coming War on China
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: The CIA’s Plots to Kill Castro
Paul Street
The Iron Heel at Home: Force Matters
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
Timberg’s Tale: Washington Post Reporter Spreads Blacklist of Independent Journalist Sites
Andrew Levine
Must We Now Rethink the Hillary Question? Absolutely, Not
Joshua Frank
CounterPunch as Russian Propagandists: the Washington Post’s Shallow Smear
David Rosen
The Return of HUAC?
Rob Urie
Race and Class in Trump’s America
Patrick Cockburn
Why Everything You’ve Read About Syria and Iraq Could be Wrong
Caroline Hurley
Anatomy of a Nationalist
Ayesha Khan
A Muslim Woman’s Reflections on Trump’s Misogyny
Michael Hudson – Steve Keen
Rebel Economists on the Historical Path to a Global Recovery
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail