Appeals court rejects Burge appeal on perjury conviction
BY KIM JANSSEN Federal Courts Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org April 1, 2013 10:08AM
Former Chicago police Cmdr. Jon Burge in 2011. | Sun-Times file photo
Updated: May 3, 2013 6:11AM
Disgraced Chicago Police torturer Jon Burge has had his appeal against a perjury conviction rejected.
And the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals noted the “irony” of the 65-year-old former cop complaining about his conviction — calling him a “liar” responsible for “decades of abuse that is unquestionably horrific.”
Burge for years denied overseeing a policy of torture of black suspects during the 1970s and ’80s as a commander at Chicago Police’s Area 2 headquarters.
He was fired in 1992. The statute of limitations meant that, by the time he was properly investigated, he could no longer be charged with torture.
But lies Burge told in connection with civil lawsuits filed by some of his many victims eventually led to his perjury conviction in 2010.
Currently serving a 54-month sentence at the Butner federal penitentiary in North Carolina, he based his appeal on a number of claims.
His lawyers argued that his lies were not made in an “official proceeding” of the court and did not affect the outcome of any case; that one of his victims had filed a fraudulent lawsuit against him; and that Judge Joan Lefkow improperly allowed hearsay evidence against Burge.
Justices Anne Claire Williams, Michael Stephen Kanne and Ilana Rovner rejected all those complaints.
“Perjury and obstruction of justice are offenses against the integrity of the judicial system — not solely injuries to opposing parties in a civil suit,” Williams wrote in the court’s opinion, published Monday.
“A basic irony also underlies Burge’s claim that [torture victim Madison Hobley’s] civil suit was ‘a fraud’ since his own misconduct has contributed to uncertainty regarding the confessions of Area 2 suspects like Hobley.”
Burge is due to be released on Valentine’s Day, 2015.