[Ppnews] Board Unanimously Passes Chicago Police Torture Resolutions

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Jul 10 18:59:39 EDT 2007

Today, July 10, 2007, the Cook County Board unanimously passed three 
Chicago Police torture resolutions sponsored by Commissioner Earlean 
Collins while sending a fourth to committee. The three resolutions 
resolved as follows:

1. The Cook County Board of Commissioners fully support any action 
taken by the United States Attorney's of the Northern District of 
Illinois in the investigation and prosecution of any and all federal 
crimes allegedly committed by Burge and his men.

2. The Cook County Board of Commissioners recommends that the 
Illinois Attorney General initiate new hearings for the twenty-six 
Chicago Police torture victims who were wrongfully convicted and 
remain incarcerated in the State of Illinois.

3. The Cook County Board of Commissioners recommends to the 
legislature of the State of Illinois and the Congress of the United 
States to pass legislation explicitly proscribing the crime of 
torture as defined by Article I of the United Nations Convention 
Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment and 
Punishment and provide that there be no statute of limitations for this crime.

The fourth resolution, which was sent to the Litigation subcommittee 
for a hearing at which Special Prosecutors Boyle and Egan will be 
required to appear, a courtesy which they refused the Board when it 
held its June 13th hearing into the alleged failures of their 
investigation, resolves that:

The Cook County Board of Commissioners discontinue any future 
payments to Special Prosecutors Edward Egan and Robert Boyle for any 
and all expenses incurred for the investigation of allegations of 
abuse by Commander Jon Burge and men under his command.

The three resolutions which passed were cosponsored by Commissioners 
Joan Patricia Murphy, Mike Quigley, Deborah Sims, Robert Steele, 
Larry Suffredin, Anthony Peraica, and Jerry Butler.  The entire Board 
cosponsored the resolution calling for a new crime of torture without 
a statute of limitations.  At a press conference held before the 
resolutions were passed, and at their subsequent introduction on the 
floor, Commissioners Collins, Steele, Claypool, Peraica, and 
Suffredin, and County Clerk Davis Orr spoke strongly in support of 
this "very important issue concerning public safety" and repeatedly 
called for the federal indictment of Burge and other alleged torturers.

These resolutions were a response to a public hearing convened by 
Commissioner Collins on June 13, 2007 of the Criminal Justice 
Committee of the Cook County Board of Commissioners. The hearing was 
held to address issues raised by the recent report released by 
Special Prosecutors Egan and Boyle assigned to investigate possible 
criminal prosecutions in the Chicago Police Torture case.

After a four-year investigation that cost Cook County taxpayers $7 
million, Special Prosecutors Egan and Boyle sought no indictments 
against Burge or other detectives, despite acknowledging that there 
was evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that certain individuals had 
been abused by Burge and other Area 2 and 3 detectives under his 
command. The Special Prosecutors claimed that the statute of 
limitations under Illinois law barred prosecution. However, as raised 
in the report entitled Report On The Failure Of Special Prosecutors 
Edward J. Egan And Robert D. Boyle To Fairly Investigate Systemic 
Police Torture In Chicago, Burge and other officers can and should be 
indicted for their alleged crimes of perjury and obstruction of 
justice committed within the past four years. 212 human rights, civil 
rights, and criminal justice organizations and individuals endorsed 
this "shadow" torture report.

Meanwhile, the victims of these crimes and international human rights 
violations continue to suffer, particularly the 26 African American 
men who remain behind bars due to wrongful convictions based in whole 
or in part on coerced confessions obtained by acts of torture. These 
men are entitled to have new hearings that raise issues of their torture.

For more information on the Chicago Police Torture cases, a copy of 
the report cited above go to 
<http://www.peopleslawoffice.com/>www.peopleslawoffice.com or 
http://www.law.northwestern.edu/wrongfulconvictions or to view 
footage of the June 13th hearing go to Google for 

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