Alleged Burge Torture Victim Going Free After 25 Years

CHICAGO (CBS) — A man who has long claimed he was tortured by Chicago police detectives into confessing to two murders will be getting out of prison after nearly 25 years behind bars.

Cook County Judge William H. Hooks ordered Eric Caine, 45, to be released during a hearing Wednesday. Caine will go free from Menard Correctional Facility on Thursday.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bob Roberts reports

Caine has been behind bars since 1986, when he was charged with the murders of a South Chicago couple. He was convicted in 1989 and sentenced to life in prison, but has long maintained that he was tortured into confessing.

“When I first was informed, or told, that I had been implicated in this murder, I was shocked beyond belief,” Caine said last year in a phone interview from prison.

Hooks ruled in January that Caine was entitled to a post-conviction hearing based on his allegations of torture.

Former Judge Stuart Nudelman is acting as special prosecutor in Caine’s case. He said that prosecutors decided they didn’t have enough evidence to convict Caine in a retrial.

Russell Ainsworth, the lead attorney at The Exoneration Project at University of Chicago Law School, said last year that “(Caine’s) claims of innocence are the most powerful we’ve ever had in our clinic.”

Caine’s co-defendant, Aaron Patterson, was also convicted in the case and sentenced to death. But in 2003, then-Gov. George Ryan pardoned Patterson.

When Patterson was beaten by police, he said Caine was also involved in the murders.

Both Caine and Patterson have always said they were tortured into signing confessions given to them by detectives under the command of Jon Burge. Caine said he was beaten so badly, his eardrum ruptured.

In 2003, Ryan pardoned four Death Row inmates, including Patterson. All were tortured by Burge and his men, but because Caine was sentenced to life, he wasn’t pardoned.

When asked if he feels as if he was left behind, Caine said, “That’s an understatement. I feel, honestly, I’m going to tell you, I feel offended, I feel disrespected and I’m extremely hurt by it.”

While incarcerated, his mother, father and grandmother all died.

Last summer, Burge was convicted of federal perjury and obstruction of justice for lying about the torture at Area 2. On Wednesday, he reported to prison in North Carolina.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Call Back Jon Burge Please

    Great, another angry x offender on the street ready to stick it to The Man.

  • Wallace Gator Bradley

    I find it unbelievable that the City of Chicago will continue to pay for Jon Burge defense after he has been convicted of federal perjury and obstruction of justice for lying about the torture of Melvin Jones, who was one of the star witnesses at the trial of the 21st Century, who is now homeless.

    I was an Urban Translator in the Aaron Patterson vs Jon Burge case # 03 cv4433, I’m suing his former lawyers Frank Avila, Ivan Tomic, Carl Barry and Adam Loewy; they owe me $ 238,000.00 for services rendered. It was mentioned March 15, 2011 in open court that I settled my suit against Aaron Patterson in the Wallace Gator Bradley vs Aaron Patterson case 09 L 4761 by Ivan Tomic’s attorney George Becker

    Judge Allen S. Goldberg set trial by jury for Sept. 26, 2011 at 10:30 am in court room 2303 at the Daley Center; Wallace Gator Bradley vs Frank Avila et al case # 08 L 11211

  • VIP, Cook County

    OMG this man was beaten, tortured and in prison for so many years of his life because of injustice. He’s got a great lawsuit against the City of Chicago. I hope he wins.

  • Curious

    I `m curious what kind of arrest history does Mr Caine have?News media won`t tell that,why?

    • NWA

      He was twenty, with no criminal hsitory you jerk for asking!


      • Wayne

        What the hell is your problem, Curious has a legitimate question.

  • Mark A. Clements, Administrator


    Chicago Police Torture Victim Eric Caine Released
    Statement by: Jail Jon Burge Coalition
    Campaign to End the Death Penalty
    Chicago Alliance against Racist and Political Repression

    Contact Person: Mark A. Clements, Administrator/847-276-1382
    (Available to Press by Phone after 10:30AM to 2:00PM)

    It has taken more then two and ahalf decades for justice to come alive and to work for Mr.Eric Caine. This is just another prime example why it is needed for the Cook County States Attorney office, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, and the Cook County Special Prosecutor Stuart A. Nudelman to stop delaying what is needed in these case’s and that is a review of each case and to quickly admit if these men should be released. The Jail Jon Burge Coalition, Campaign to End the Death Penalty, and Chicago Alliance against Racist and Political Repression, have reviewed each of these cases involving torture and is convince that over 90 percent of the men should be released. What is clear is that each case of torture that occurred under the command of Jon Burge, should be afforded a hearing on their claims of torture before a Cook County court judge.

    Today is a beautiful sunny day and in less then thirty minutes Mr. Caine will walk out of the gates of the Menard Correctional Center, located in Chester, Illinois and will be able to gain a taste of freedom that he has not enjoyed in over 25 years. We often communicated with Mr. Caine, and this is a man that has greatly suffered as the result of being ignored by a court system that wrong him from the outset.

    Today, we are in Springfield before a sub-committee on victim rights, a piece of legislation that would make it much easy for victims of Burge torture to be compensated by the State of Illinois. It remains to outrage us and others that many Burge victims of torture have not been compensated by the State of Illinois, nor have any of the men received psychological treatment as should be required when any one has had to experience this kind of cruel treatment. Their is much as four torture victims that have been released who are homeless this day. They are homeless because while in prison many of their families and friends died or moved away, leaving these men to face conditions in this society where jobs are limited and employers are not hiring many who were released from Illinois State prisons. Mr. Caine is one of several men (Stanley Wrice, Stanley Howard, Eric Johnson, and Leonard Hinton) who we are hopeful will be released this year from Illinois State prisons who suffered as the result of Burge and his torture ring.

    Tortures within Chicago police stations have not stopped sad to admit. Some of the same detectives that worked under Burge remains to collect outrageous amounts of disciplinary complaints for abusing suspects and nothing has been done to stop this behavior. At approximately ten O’clock Chicago time the number of Burge torture victims remaining incarcerated will reduce to 22 men. We will remain to work hard and diligently to free the men along with their lawyers.

    Mark A. Clements, Administrator
    Jail Jon Burge Coalition
    Campaign to End the Death Penalty
    Chicago Alliance against Racist and Political Repression

  • Alleged Burge Torture Victim Leaves Prison « CBS Chicago

    […] Caine, 45, had been behind bars since 1986, when he was charged with the murders of a South Chicago … He was convicted in 1989 and sentenced to life in prison, but has long maintained that he was tortured into confessing. […]

  • Tired

    I am a really big believer of knowing history. I am baffled that Richard Daley even had a career after his tenure as States attorney. Eric Caine I am so happy for you brother to come home. You are a very strong person that had a major part of your life taken from you. The time can never be replaced. I am so sick of reading stories like this always in the minority neighborhood. This would have never happened in to an affluent person because they would have had the money to have legal counsel that advises their client on what do or say Police know that you would have never had gotten a conviction without substantial evidence. We become targets because in 60623, 60624, 60609 etc. you can stop someone using “probable cause and get an arrest really with nothing substantial. The same police officer in 60611, 60614, 60654 could not stop someone using probable cause and get away with it because the residents of these zipcodes would not tolerate rogue police officers and a corrupt system doing anything possible to get a conviction.

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