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Alvarez Criticizes Illinois Police Torture Review Panel

By aaroncynic in News on Aug 29, 2013 8:20PM

Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez (Image via Alvarez's Facebook page.)

Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez blasted the state’s Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission, saying the agency acted illegally by not contacting the families of some victims when reviewing police torture allegations.

WBBM-AM reports in a letter to the governor, Alvarez wrote:

“There’s no oversight to this commission. I don’t know who they report to, if anybody. I don’t think anybody’s watching or vetting what they’re doing.”

The Commission found evidence of police torture in 17 murder cases and recommended those convicted receive new trials, but pulled three cases off that list earlier this month. In those cases, the Commission failed to inform family members of the victims. Alvarez told WBBM family members of victims should be notified 30 days before any proceeding held by the Commission. “It seems like this is a one-sided proceeding,” she said.

In a statement, Gov. Quinn said that failure to inform victims’ family members is “100 percent unacceptable.” Commission director David Thomas assured it would “never happen again.”