Sunday, January 17, 2010

Chicago Criminal lawyer comments on delayed justice for Michael Tillman

This Chicago Criminal lawyer has posted here and here about wrongful arrests and other errors with grave consequences for defendants. Now comes news that after twenty-four years, an innocent man is released from prison without charge.

Freed Thursday after almost a quarter century behind bars, Michael Tillman said it "feels good," but he also had a grim prediction for the Chicago police detectives who allegedly tortured him into confessing."They'll get what they got coming," Tillman told reporters in the Cook County Criminal Courts Building. "The system will do to them what they did to me."

He is the latest longtime inmate to be freed because of allegations of torture by detectives under disgraced former Chicago police Cmdr. Jon Burge.

In court papers, special prosecutors brought in to handle the case said that if Tillman was retried, the state would be unable to disprove that the confession had been coerced. And there wasn't enough other reliable evidence to convict him of the murder, they said.
The special prosecutors went on to acknowledge evidence of "a pattern and practice of abuse" at what is now the Calumet Area police headquarters under Burge and his detectives -- which Tillman's lawyers
heralded as a first for the state.

Can we finally lay to rest the notion that confessions only occur for the guilty?

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