CHICAGO (CBS) — One month after an appeals court ordered a new trial for 53-year-old James Gibson in the 1989 murders of two men, based on evidence he was tortured into confessing, prosecutors have dropped charges, but insist he was not wrongfully convicted.
Special Prosecutor Robert Milan said, due to the death of a key witness, and other witnesses who are not cooperating, the state is dismissing all charges against Gibson in the deaths of Lloyd Benjamin and Hunter Wash.
“It is the position of the Special Prosecutor that this was NOT a wrongful conviction,” Milan stated in an email.
A former Cook County prosecutor, Milan was appointed in 2017 to handle cases in which new trials are sought due to allegations of police brutality tied to disgraced former Chicago Police Cmdr. Jon Burge.
Gibson said detectives under Burge’s command tortured him into confessing.
In 2010, Burge was convicted of lying about the torture of criminal suspects, and served 4 1/2 years in prison and on home confinement. He died last September at age 70.