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Burge To Testify In Own Defense

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Jun 17, 2010 2:20PM

Late yesterday, former police commander Jon Burge announced he will take the stand in his own defense in his perjury and obstruction of justice trial. The announcement came at the end of the day after jurors had left the courtroom. Burge has previously invoked his fifth amendment rights in questioning about the case. As for the strategy, John Conroy says:

While there is considerable risk involved in taking the stand, Burge and his defense team are gambling that the jury will find the former commander more credible than that five men who claim to have been tortured, the various witnesses who have testified in support of the five, the medical evidence in the cases of Andrew Wilson and Gregory Banks, and the seeming congruence of testimony offered by the slippery former detective Michael McDermott, who testified for the prosecution under a grant of immunity, and Shadeed Mu’min. McDermott told a grand jury that he had seen Burge abuse Mu’min.

Meanwhile, the focus in the Burge trial was on defense forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden who testified that most injuries sustained Andrew Wilson most likely did not happen during Wilson's alleged interrogation and torture but, rather, were old scars. Wilson died in prison in 2007 but has been a witness from the after-life during the trial. Baden also caused a ripple amongst the jury when revealing his $27,000 fee for the defense.