Police union blasts decision to release man convicted after alleged torture
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The union representing rank-and-file Chicago Police officers blasted the decision by a Cook County judge to release a man from prison Friday 21 years after he was convicted of a double murder and sentenced to life.
The Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission determined last year that Jaime Hauad’s claim of torture by Chicago Police detectives in 1997 was credible.
Thursday, a Cook County judge ordered his release, though Hauad’s conviction still stands.
“Far from being an example of justice served, the release of Jaime Hauad is a betrayal of the criminal justice system by both TIRC and the Cook County State’s Attorney,” the Fraternal Order of Police said in a statement.
“Both entities have demonstrated an egregious bias against the police and in favor of the cold-blooded criminals in their recent rulings, including this case.”
The Torture Commission was formed by lawmakers to investigate alleged acts of torture carried out by disgraced former CPD Cmdr. Jon Burge.
The FOP maintains that the “TIRC is a body acting unconstitutionally, comprised of unelected officials with vast power to overturn long-settled cases, like Hauad’s. Indeed, TIRC’s ruling in this case flies in the face of more than ten years of legal proceedings indicating Hauad’s guilt.”
Two key pieces of evidence to support the allegation were Hauad’s sneakers. Police are accused of using an industrial-strength paper cutter to lop the tips off the shoes and threatening to cut off his toes if he didn’t confess.
Police photos of suspect lineups before and after the interrogation show the undamaged and damaged shoes, Hauad’s attorney, Alison Flaum, previously said.
Hauad swapped shoes with a friend who was put in the second lineup so his friend could bring the sneakers to Hauad’s mother to keep as proof of the abuse.
Hauad also claims he was beaten before offering police a false alibi that was later used against him at trial. He told detectives he was behind bars at the time of the shooting. He was not.
The Torture Commission kicked the case back to the State’s Attorney’s Conviction Integrity Unit and Hauad’s attorneys to decide jointly on how to proceed. A wide variety of options were open to them, including re-trial. They settled on re-sentencing Hauad for time served and setting him free.
The FOP went on to allege collusion between the state’s attorney’s office and “law firms that stand to benefit from TIRC rulings and the release of criminals.”
Robert Foley, a spokesman for State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, said the decision was made after “an exhaustive review” of the case by the Conviction Integrity Unit.
Hauad’s family and attorney did not respond to messages seeking comment Friday.