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Council Committee OKs Another Burge Torture Settlement

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CHICAGO (CBS) — The City Council Finance Committee on Friday cleared the way for the city to pay another $12 million to settle two cases involving torture victims of former Chicago Police Cmdr. Jon Burge.

Ronald Kitchen and Marvin Reeves both spent more than 20 years in prison for murders they didn’t commit.

Now, each will receive $6.15 million dollars in compensation.

“It’s just money. It will not bring back any part of life for any of these gentlemen that they spent so many years incarcerated,” Ward 34 Ald. Carrie Austin said.

The settlement will also keep former Mayor Richard Daley, who was Cook County State’s Attorney at the time, from having to testify.

They were released from prison four years ago, and now they’re about to get paid, once the full council approves the deal.But Kitchen and Reeves have always said the dollars aren’t the point. Kitchen says he was beaten so badly under Burge that he falsely confessed to the 1988 murders of five people.

“Obviously, this is a happy day for him,” Ronald Kitchen attorney Locke Bowman said. “For him, it is time to stop living in the past, and begin living in the future.

He and attorney Flint Taylor called on Mayor Rahm Emanuel to apologize, which would carry a symbolic weight.

“His apology would be on behalf of the police department and the city of Chicago. We understand that he has no personal involvement, unlike (former) Mayor Daley.”

A spokesperson for Daley – who was Cook County state’s attorney during Burge’s tenure — declined to comment. CBS 2 sought comment from the Emanuel administration on whether an apology was forthcoming.

As for the settlement, the full city council could approve it as early as Wednesday.

Several more torture-related cases — and potential settlements — could be in the pipeline, aldermen learned Friday.