Friday, February 3, 2012

This is why “Burge” is wrong

I hate the idea that a man now serving prison time for his involvement in the gang rape and torture of a young woman may well be able to start thinking of himself as the “victim.”

Because as I understand it, even by this own man’s admission, he held an iron to the thighs of the young woman to burn her (he claims only his friends forced themselves sexually upon her).

BUT WE MAY have to start thinking of Stanley Wrice – who went on trial in 1983 and received a 100-year prison sentence for the 1982 attack on the woman at Wrice’s South Side home – as the wronged-one.

Because when he was arrested, he came under the control of the detectives working at the then-Pullman Area police headquarters (down on 111th Street) who were supervised by police Commander Jon Burge.

We have heard so many stories throughout the years of the degree to which Burge and his crew used force to extract confessions from those who they thought were guilty of crimes – even though there is substantial evidence that many of them were merely guilty of “being black.”

The likelihood that Wrice underwent treatment possibly worse than what was done to the girl (who ultimately was abandoned on a side street, where she walked to a local gas station to call police) was used (rightfully so) by the Supreme Court of Illinois on Thursday to justify new hearings.

A JUDGE IS going to have to decide how much of the incriminating testimony Wrice made against himself was coerced by Burge violence. If the outcome is severe enough, it could result in a new trial.

At the very least, it could wind up with a new sentencing – one that would end his prison term much earlier than the 2041 release date he now faces.
BURGE: Still causing problems

Considering how long he has been in prison, he may well get sentenced to a term that he has already served. Which would leave this man in a position where he could claim to have been incarcerated for too long a time period – which would put the state in a position of having to compensate him for the damage done to his life.

Which is disgusting, because there is strong reason to believe that he did commit the particular offense. Prosecutors had hoped the state Supreme Court would leave the matter alone – instead of determining that coercion by police is severe enough to taint any legal outcome.

“IT IS NEVER harmless error,” the high court wrote, in their ruling this week.

That is the real harm caused by the Burge behavior of the late 1970s into the ‘80s. It has police acting like little more than thugs – perhaps more criminal than the individuals they were arresting.

We needed protection more from the police than the muggers and rapists of the police districts that patrolled the Far South Side of Chicago. Which is a sad commentary on our society.

The fact that the Burge conduct is now resulting in a situation where a potential wrongdoer gets more respect than he ought to deserve is despicable. As far as I’m concerned, it is the reason I can’t feel the least bit of sympathy for Burge – who ultimately got picked up by federal prosecutors for a perjury charge for which he is now serving a 4 ½-year prison term in North Carolina (which is even more lame than Al Capone getting prison time for tax evasion).

BURGE IS NOW far, far away from our streets of Southside Chicago. But not far enough!

Because some people are still deluded enough to think he’s the victim – a dutiful police officer protecting us from the scum of our society. Nonsense!

Burge brought his own fate upon himself by giving in to the aura of violence that he was supposed to be protecting the people from.

And in doing so, he gave many people whose behavior was appalling a legal leg upon which to stand as they will continue to have their lawsuits seeking damages for the aspersions he “put” onto their “moral character” (or lack thereof).


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