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State Supreme Court: Burge Torture Case Can Proceed

By Chuck Sudo in News on Feb 2, 2012 10:00PM

The Illinois Supreme Court upheld a lower court's ruling allowing for a new hearing for a man convicted of a 1982 rape who long claimed his confession was physically coerced from him by former Chicago Police Lt. Jon Burge.

Stanley Wrice was sentenced to over 100 years in prison for the gang rape. He was originally tied to the scene of the crime, but the sole remaining witness recanted his testimony, as did two of Wrice's co-defendants, claiming they had also been beaten by Burge into confessing. The court's unanimous ruling means Wrice will get a hearing to determine if he was tortured by Burge and the officers under his command.

Burge was never convicted of torture during his time as a police officer, but he was convicted in 2010 of perjury and obstruction of justice for lying to a jury about police torture. Burge began serving a 4-1/2 year sentence last year, but was allowed to keep his police pension in a split vote by the Chicago Police Pension Board. Burge's tale has been meticulously chronicled by former Chicago Reader staffer John Conroy. Conroy also blogged the Burge trial for WBEZ and his account of the rebuke handed to Burge by Judge Joan Lefkow during his sentencing is a must-read.

2012 2 2 People v Wrice