Friday, February 23, 2007


Attorneys for Chicago police torture victim Madison Hobley have won the right finally to question Mayor Richard Daley, Jr.

Attorneys for other alleged torture victims expect judges in their cases to follow suit.

"He could well spend the first couple of months after the election standing for depositions after 25 years of avoiding any serious questions of his substantial role as mayor in the torture scandal," said Flint Taylor, attorney for two other alleged victims.

The Chicago Sun Times says Kurt Feuer, attorney for alleged torture victim Madison Hobley, plans to ask Daley,

"Why, when faced with documented injuries that clearly indicated torture above and beyond a beating -- this guy had allegator clips burned into his earlobes -- did Daley apparently kick the issue down the line to a very junior associate and never follow up on it?"

Earlier this week three men, including Hobley, who were pardoned from death row for murder alleged that the city of Chicago had not honored a $14.8 million settlement on claims of police torture.

In a motion filed electronically Monday, attorneys for Madison Hobley, Leroy Orange and Stanley Howard claimed that a settlement was approved with the “highest levels” of city government Nov. 3.The alleged settlement comes from claims that former Chicago police Lt. Jon Burge and officers working under him tortured the men into confessing to murder.

The city claimed it had not made any agreements as such.

Madison Hobley was one of 14 African American men sentenced to death based on confessions — alleged or acknowledged — obtained by a group of Chicago police officers later shown to have engaged in systematic torture of suspects in criminal cases.

The Campaign to End the Death Penalty described what happened to Hobley after his arrest thusly:

After six and a half hours of being driven around in a police car and continual denials by the police to his family and lawyer that he was in their custody, Madison was finally found, beaten and handcuffed, in the broom closet of a police station. While in Area II custody, Madison was drugged, kicked and suffocated by a typewriter bag while being handcuffed by officers Robert Dwyer, Daniel McWeeny, and James Lotito under the authority of known torturer Commander John Burge. After a supposed confession which never materialized in court (due to a claim that Dwyer spilled KoolAid on it) Madison spent four years in jail before being brought to trial.

The following is from CBS2 (Chicago).

Mayor Daley Must Give Testimony On Police Torture

A federal judge ruled that Chicago Mayor Richard Daley will have to give testimony under oath about police torture that allegedly took place while he was Cook County state's attorney in the 1980s.

The allegations stem from the case of pardoned death row inmate Madison Hobley. Hobley has claimed he was tortured into confessing murder by police under the leadership of former Chicago Police Lt. Jon Burge. Hobley was arrested in 1987 while Daley was Cook County state's attorney.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Geraldine Soat Brown made the six-page ruling Thursday.

In the opinion, she wrote that the facts in Hobley's case "support a conclusion that Mr. Daley may have information about the activities of Burge and other police officers, about who in the city and police administration knew about those activities, and about whether any action was taken on the basis of such knowledge."

The date of the deposition has not been determined.

Attorneys for Daley contend that the mayor doesn't have any additional knowledge that couldn't be obtained from other sources.

"Our position has been that the mayor has no unique or new information about the case," said Jennifer Hoyle, spokeswoman for the city's law department.

City officials said they may appeal the judge's ruling.

The deposition of Daley is rare. Hoyle said that many plaintiffs who have sued the city ask to depose the mayor, but it has only happened one or two times.

Burge was fired in 1993 after a police department investigation found a suspect was mistreated in his custody. Burge has not been charged and his lawyer has said Burge never tortured anyone.

Special prosecutors released a report in July that said Burge led a group of officers that used beatings, electric shocks and other methods to get suspects to confess. The prosecutors said Burge and the others could not be charged because the statute of limitations had run out.

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