Victim of alleged torture by top Burge colleagues may win new trial today

After more than four years of hearings and 27 years behind bars, George Anderson, victim of alleged torture by prodigies of disgraced for CPD Commander Jon Burge, is expected to learn today if he can finally obtain a new trial under the Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission Act.

 Cook County Circuit Judge William Hooks is expected to announce his decision at a 10 am, January 8 hearing in Courtroom 301, at the Cook County Courthouse, 2650 S. California Avenue, Chicago.

According to court filings, in 1991 Anderson endured 30 hours of interrogation and alleged torture at the hands of former Burge associates Det. Kenneth Boudreau, Det. John Halloran and the late Det. Michael Kill before he gave a confession. All three detectives are known for a high rate of overturned cases with repeated allegations of coerced confessions from men who were later exonerated.

George Anderson and Anthony Jakes were both referred for evidentiary hearings on their wrongful conviction claims following rulings by the Illinois Torture Inquiry Relief Commission regarding their coercion claims. Anderson’s and Jakes’s hearings were joined so that evidence of the pattern and practice of misconduct by the Burge-era detectives involved in both cases could be presented efficiently. On April 30, 2019, the case against Jakes was dismissed and charges against him were dropped, exonerating him completely.

During the course of his interrogation by all four and others, Anderson was beaten repeatedly, including being kicked on the wrists while he was handcuffed to the wall—the same type of torture that Burge perjured himself for denying. Countering claims that Anderson is merely a “copycat” alleger of torture, he reported the torture to his attorney and others in 1991 when such claims were unknown to the general public.

According to Anderson’s petition, the Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission has

“showed over 30 [coercion] allegations against Detective O’Brien, 34 concerning Detective, now Sgt. Boudreau; more than 20 allegations against Detective Kill; and over 35 allegations against Detective Halloran… Separately, this Court admitted evidence concerning 27 instances of misconduct by the detectives in this case, including over a dozen where criminal defendants were later successful in their criminal cases, a rejection of the tortured confessions at the heart of them.”

“Like Burge himself, Detectives Boudreau, O’Brien and Halloran should be prosecuted criminally for their repeated abuse of so many young, black men in the City of Chicago,” said Anderson’s attorney, David B. Owens of The Exoneration Project..

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