Jackie Wilson, convicted in murder of 2 cops, to get new trial

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Jackie Wilson spent almost 40 years behind bars after he says Commander Jon Burge tortured him into making that confession of killing the officers. (WLS)

A man convicted in the killing of two Chicago police officers in 1982 has been granted a new trial.

Cook County Circuit Court Judge William Hooks overturned the murder conviction Thursday. Jackie Wilson has said he was tortured by disgraced former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge until he confessed.

"We are very happy for the decision. It was a courageous decision. It was a right decision. It speaks to not only Jackie Wilson but to all the victims of police torture of the regime of Jon Burge," said Flint Taylor, Wilson's lawyer.

The judge said the confession cannot be used in a new trial.

"The abhorrence of basic rights of suspects by Mr. Burge and his underlings has been costly to taxpayers, the wrongfully convicted, worst of all, the dozens of victims and their families," Judge Hooks said.

Wilson's brother, Andrew Wilson, was also convicted in the murder case. Andrew died in prison in 2007.

Family members of the slain officers, Richard O'Brien and William Fahey, sat in the courtroom throughout the 4-hour hearing as the judge read his 119-page opinion.

Before the officers' relatives left the Leighton Criminal Courthouse, they stood behind a spokesperson from Chicago's Fraternal Order Of Police as he read a prepared statement to the media.

"While the FOP does not in anyway condone police misconduct, the notion that Jackie Wilson was abused in custody is virtually nonexistent and we're extremely disappointed in Judge Hook's ruling."

Mike O'Rourke, the special prosecutor in this case, says he plans to fight the judge's decision.

"We believe on appeal we are going to prevail and that's where we are going to go," he said

For now Wilson remains in jail. There's a bond hearing scheduled for next week.
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