So now we know 17 men apparently have credible claims they’re in prison because police extracted confessions from them through torture.
On Wednesday, the Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission added five more names to the 12 it already said need further investigation because of alleged police torture.
Four other claims were denied and two were deferred on 4-2 votes in favor of granting the claims. It takes five of eight votes to grant a claim, but two commissioners were missing.
The five imprisoned men who the commission found to have credible claims of police torture are Robert Smith,Scott Mitchell,Jerry Mahaffey,Anthony Jakes andKevin Murray. The four who were denied wereSidney McCray,Daniel Vaughn,Robert Ornelas andJames Hinton.
The commission doesn’t make judgments about guilt or innocence. Its mission is to determine whether,based on a preponderance of evidence, the claim of torture is credible and should be referred to the Cook County Circuit Court for appropriate relief.
In all, more than 100 men filed claims saying they made statements because of torture by former Chicago Police Cmdr. Jon Burge and his Midnight Crew in the 1970s. The commission has yet to act on most of them.
Read an April 11 Sun-Times editorial about the alleged police torture here.
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