CHICAGO (WBBM/CBS) — Former Chicago Police Cmdr. Jon Burge is hoping a judge will go easy on him in sentencing next week, but a man who claims to have been a Burge torture victim wants to see him go away for a long time.
As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Mike Krauser reports, Burge was found to have tortured confessions out of suspects, but could only be convicted of lying about the torture due to statutes of limitations.
LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Mike Krauser reports
More than 100 victims have said the torture started in the 1970s and persisted until the 1990s at police stations on the city’s South and West sides.
Gregory Smith was convicted of murder and sent away. But the murder was later proved by DNA to have been committed by the man who pointed at Smith as the suspect.
Smith had the confession scared out of him, he says.
“Put a gun to my head, slapped me, made me confess to something that I didn’t do,” he said.
Smith was in prison for 20 years, from 1981 until 2001.
Burge could be sentenced to 30 years behind bars, having been convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice on June 28, 2010, for lying in a civil suit when he denied committing or witnessing torture
But Burge’s lawyers are asking for months. Smith says that would be unfair.
“All the time that all the people did, he should be serving the same time to see how it feels to be locked up for something they didn’t do,” he said.
Smith worked at McCormick Place before he was sent away. Now he is homeless.
“I’m on the street now. I can’t find a job,” he said. “But I’m, still hanging in there, still staying strong.”