Reporting Steve Miller
CHICAGO (CBS) — Less than a week after the director of the state’s torture commission was pressured to resign, the commission has narrowly voted to hire an interim director.
The commission is looking into whether convicted murderers were tortured into confessing.
Families of crime victims were upset that they weren’t included in the review process – as required by statute.
And – backed by Governor Quinn – they demanded the resignation of the former director of the Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission.
Now – in emergency session – the commission has voted 4-3 to hire an interim director: attorney James Sledge, who told the commission he hasn’t thoroughly read the statute.
“I’ve seen it. I haven’t read it from back to cover.”
Answers like that stunned some commission members, like Leonard Cavise.
“I was surprised by some of his answers. I knew he wasn’t a specialist in the field but I didn’t think he was this unschooled.”
Joe Heinrich, whose sister was murdered 30 years ago, was glad to see the last director go but seems willing to give Sledge a chance.
“He seemed not to know very much about this torture issue, which I think speaks to possibly his neutrality. Time will tell.”
The commission is offering the job to Sledge for 60 days.