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'The Good Wife' takes on CPD Homan Square 'black site' question

The CBS show “The Good Wife” has a six-season history of taking on ripped-from-the-deadlines Chicago stories via the perspective of lead character Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies). This season’s finale really dug in for a doozy, with a medical marijuana angle as a kicker.

In the episode that aired Sunday night, the show tackled the hot-button topic of the Chicago Police Department’s so-called “black site” at Homan Square, a detention facility of either nefarious intent or a well-know CPD intelligence-gathering site, depending on the reporting used to define it.

Alicia Florrick is escorted from the Chicago Police facility at Homan Square on the Season 6 finale of “The Good Wife.”

Margulies’ Alicia has a client apparently taken into custody, though with no record of arrest. She traces him via his iPhone to what the show characterizes as an off-the-books detention/coercion facility on Chicago’s West Side.

The Homan Square facility, long known about in journalism and legal circles, became the topic of debate following a series of articles in the British newspaper The Guardian. Reporter Spencer Ackerman likened the facility to a CIA rendition site while the Sun-Times’ Frank Main reported that the location was far from secret and noted defense attorney Thomas Durkin called the coverage of Homan Square “hyperbolic.”

Season 6 finale recap

In the episode, titled Wanna Partner?, Alicia is given the runaround by Chicago Police as to whether they even have her client, much less where he might be held. At last, she’s able to prove to a judge that the cops know where her client, Jacob Rickter, is and they are ordered to allow access to him.

“I want the police to open the Homan Square doors to Mr. Rickter’s lawyers now,” the judge demands of the prosecutor.

Alicia is told upon going to the Homan facility that Rickter is meeting with his lawyer with the desk officer insisting that is not Alicia. This leads to more courtroom antics and drama until the client is produced and is accused of acquiring a felonious number of marijuana plants – earlier in the episode he’s making plans to open a medical marijuana facility, but this is characterized as a confession.

HOMAN SUIT

Federal lawsuit filed over alleged abuses

“Your honor, Homan Square has been called Chicago’s ‘black site,’ . . . a place where citizens are taken without warrant, without warning, without rights and then questioned until they confess,” lawyer Finn Polmar (Matthew Goode) argues in court, playing into the storyline from the Guardian reporting on the facility.

“I’d be more upset about your client’s crimes than our mistakes,” a Chicago Police officer tells the court in an effort to explain away how Rickter confessed while in CPD “care,” but not under arrest.

Lawyers use an iPhone app to track a man held in Chicago police custody at a facility in Homan Square on the Season 6 finale of “The Good Wife.”

The confession ends up being thrown out after the police admit in court that Rickter was brought in as an arrestee, but not read his rights nor provided access to a lawyer.

There’s no deeper probing of the Homan story as the episode winds down, though the ominous undertones of what the site is and how the Chicago Police operate are left lingering, despite the victory in court.

You can watch the full episode here.