Editorial: Find the truth about allegations of torture
Alittle-known state agency closed up shop Friday, and you can bet about 100 people were painfully aware of that.
The 100 people — all African-American men — are those who told their stories to the Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission, hoping they could get a new day in court. They were sent to prison after confessions that they say were tortured out of them. But it looks like they are out of luck.
Many of these men might well be telling the truth. After digging into the first nine cases it received, the commission found five in which there was credible evidence of torture, based on medical evidence, the “pattern and practice” of police officers involved and the consistency of the men’s stories. Those cases have been turned over to Cook County Circuit Court Chief Judge Timothy Evans for review. The commission did not find credible evidence in four others.
But in May, the Legislature quietly and mysteriously axed the commission’s $150,000-a-year funding effective June 30, leaving the remaining 100 cases in limbo.
Somehow, when the Legislature reconvenes, it should restore the funding so that the commission can get at the truth.