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Burge Perjury Conviction Upheld By Appeals Court

By Chuck Sudo in News on Apr 1, 2013 6:20PM

A federal court rejected former Chicago Police Cmdr. Jon Burge’s request for an appeal Monday morning and, in the process, took a shot at the man who has come to symbolize police torture in Chicago.

The 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that a lower court made no errors in Burge’s trial. He was convicted on one charge of perjury and two cases of obstruction of justice in June 2010. Burge was accused of overseeing a policy of torture against suspects — almost all of them black — during his years at Area 2 Police headquarters. He was fired in 1992 but was never brought up on criminal charges because the statute of limitations expired. He was the defendant in a series of civil lawsuits by his accusers, which led to the perjury conviction, and is serving a 54-month sentence at Butner federal penitentiary in North Carolina.

Burge’s legal team sought an appeal by arguing his lies were not official court proceedings that didn’t affect the outcome of any civil trial, claimed Judge Joan Lefkow improperly allowed hearsay evidence to be used against him, and that the lawsuit filed against him by torture victim Madison Hobley was fraudulent. The 7th Circuit Court said Burge’s appeal was “ironic” and called him a “liar” responsible for “decades of abuse that is unquestionably horrific.”