MacArthur Justice Center Files Amended Complaint in Burge Torture Case Naming Mayor Daley, Former Mayor Jane Byrne as Defendants
Attorneys for Burge torture victim Darrell Cannon added Mayor Richard M. Daley and former Mayor Jane Byrne as Defendants in a lawsuit alleging they conspired with State's Attorney Richard Devine (pdf), Area 2 Commander Jon Burge, and numerous of his men to cover-up systematic torture of African-American suspects.
Cannon's amended lawsuit alleges that Daley and Devine were complicit in a concerted cover-up of the torture by refusing to prosecute Burge for torturing suspects, withholding evidence of this torture, prosecuting defendants who had been victimized by the ruthless police techniques, by making false statements to the media, and by giving false and incomplete statements to the Special Prosecutors.
Darrell Cannon still remains in prison despite widespread knowledge that his confession was the result of torture under Burge and his men. The amended complaint was filed by the MacArthur Justice Center and the People's Law Office.
Updated - 02/14/2007
Judge Orders New Parole Hearing For Burge Torture Victim
A Cook County Circuit Court Judge instructed state officials to grant a new parole hearing for Darrell Cannon, a man who has endured more than 20 years of imprisonment after being tortured by officers under the command of former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge.
In a ruling (pdf) issued on Wednesday, November 22, Judge James Henry overturned a 2004 ruling by the Illinois Prisoner Review Board that rejected Cannon's request for parole, even though prosecutors dropped the criminal case against him and Board Chairman Jorge Montes admitted he was "inclined to believe" that Burge and his underlings had tortured Cannon in an effort to extract a confession to a 1983 murder.
MJC Files Lawsuit on Behalf of Burge Torture Victim
Updated - 11/22/2006
MJC Files Lawsuit on Behalf of Burge Torture Victim
The MacArthur Justice Center has filed a lawsuit (pdf) seeking restitution for a man savagely tortured by Chicago Police, wrongfully convicted of murder and sent to prison where he has languished for 22 years.
Darrell Cannon was one of several victims of police torture inflicted under the command Chicago Police Lt. Jon Burge. Burge is the subject of a grand jury investigation into allegations that he directed the torture of more than 100 criminal suspects between 1972 and 1991.
Burge and his subordinates arrested Cannon in 1983 and took him to a remote location, where they repeatedly shocked his genitals with a cattle prod, threatened to execute him by sticking a gun in his mouth, and coerced him into making a false confession of murder.
The MacArthur Justice Center is representing Cannon in a lawsuit filed in federal district court against Burge, his subordinates and the City of Chicago. The suit charges that the defendants violated Cannon's civil rights and seeks damages on his behalf.
Cannon was denied parole in September 2004 by the Illinois Prisoner Review Board despite the fact that the Review Board was "inclined to believe" that he had been tortured and that the Cook County State's Attorney dismissed all criminal charges against Cannon in April 2004.
Tortured Inmate Appeals Murder Sentence
Darrell Cannon, an Illinois inmate who was tortured by officers under Jon Burge's command, appealed Thursday a decision by state prison officials to enforce his murder sentence even though prosecutors dropped the criminal case against Cannon earlier this year.
In the appeal (pdf), attorneys argued that last month's decision by the Illinois Prisoner Review Board reflected a hostile bias against Cannon, who confessed to a murder in 1983 after police stuck a shotgun in his mouth and electrocuted his genitals with a cattle prod.
Cannon was denied his long-awaited parole by the Illinois Prisoner Review Board on September 8, 2004, following parole hearings on August 27 and September 3, in which Cannon's lawyers played Burge's recorded testimony and argued that Cannon should be released after spending more than 20 years in prison for a murder he confessed to only after being tortured.
Updated - 10/08/2004
Ill. Review Board Denies Parole to Man Imprisoned for 21 Years Based on Tortured Confession, MJC Lawyer Calls Act a "Miscarriage of Justice"
The Illinois Prisoner Review Board refused parole to Darrell Cannon, a man who has served 21 years based on a tortured confession. The decision came despite admissions by PRB Chairman Jorge Montes that he was "inclined to believe" that Cannon had been tortured and despite the fact that the Cook County State's Attorney had earlier dismissed all criminal charges against Cannon in April 2004.
Cannon's lawyers, Locke Bowman of the MacArthur Justice Center and Flint Taylor of the People's Law Office, were disappointed by the decision and said they would appeal.
"We regret this decision," said Bowman. "The Illinois Prisoner Review Board had the opportunity to address a serious miscarriage of justice. Instead, the Board ignored the indisputable reality that Darrell Cannon has been imprisoned for nearly 21 years based solely upon a confession that henchmen of former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge tortured from him. The Board's failure even to acknowledge this fact in its written decision is indefensible. We anticipate filing appeals on Mr. Cannon's behalf."
Updated - 09/10/2004
Man Allegedly Tortured by Officers Under Jon Burge in '83 Seeks Parole, MJC and People's Law Office Lawyers Argue Case Before Illinois Prisoner Review Board
On September 3, lawyers from the People's Law Office and MacArthur Justice Center played Jon Burge's recorded testimony and made closing arguments at the parole revocation hearing for Darrell Cannon who allegedly confessed to murder after being tortured by detectives under Jon Burge's command in 1983.
The public parole hearing wrapped up ongoing arguments and testimony by former Chicago police detectives and others in front of the Illinois Prisoner Review Board. Cannon contends that, like scores of other African American citizens in the 1980s, he was tortured by detectives under Lieutenant Jon Burge's command and supervision.
The Illinois Prisoner Review Board expects to rule in the case in the coming weeks.
Updated - 09/03/2004