SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CN) – Illinois lawmakers eliminated funding to a panel investigating claims of police torture, leaving as many as 40 wrongfully convicted men without a process to get a rehearing, the commission’s executive director said.
The Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission will stop work this month, as its budget was reduced to zero, The Associated Press reported.
Executive Director David Thomas told the AP that more than 100 claims of torture have been filed with the commission in just over 2 years and that 30 to 40 men may never get a rehearing.
The commission was created in 2009 to investigate allegations about former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge and detectives working under him. Burge was sentenced to 4½ years in federal prison in January 2011 for lying about police torture.
For decades, dozens of men, mostly African-American, claimed Burge and his detectives shocked, burned and suffocated them to get confessions.