Lawyers to file brief for imprisoned Burge accusers

August 10, 2011 10:11:12 AM PDT
Fifteen imprisoned men who say their confessions were coerced by convicted former Chicago Police Cmdr. Jon Burge are getting some high-profile help.

Lawyers were expected to file a brief Wednesday with the Illinois Supreme Court.

Former Illinois Gov. Jim Thompson and more than 60 prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges and lawmakers have signed a brief on behalf of the men.

"There are 15 men who have credibly claimed for years that they were tortured into confessing to crimes by Jon Burge and men who worked for Burge at the Chicago Police Department. Burge, you know, has been convicted. He's in prison. Nobody doubts that Burge and his men were guilty of torturing suspects into confessing to things," said Locke Bowman of the Northwestern School of Law.

Burge, however, has only been convicted of perjury. He has been sentenced to four and one-half years in prison for that conviction.

The brief being filed Wednesday marks the first effort on behalf of alleged Burge victims as a group -- not separate, individual cases.

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