Melvin Jones says he screamed and begged for mercy as Chicago police touched metal clips to his feet and thighs and sent shock waves of electricity through his body more than 25 years ago, reports the Associated Press. He says he was told the torture would stop when he confessed to murder. Jones is among dozens of alleged torture victims who have little hope of winning compensation, despite the arrest this week of a former police commander who officials say lied about the abuse. Some have completed prison terms for crimes they say they confessed to only after police beat or electrocuted them. More than 20 remain in prison.
The indictment of former police Lt. Jon Burge is unlikely to spring anyone from prison soon or prompt any quick settlement of claims for damages, lawyers for alleged torture victims say. The Illinois attorney general’s office hasn’t agreed to new trials for those claiming coerced confessions and the city opposes paying damages to alleged victims. ”There hasn’t been much courage shown by high political officials,” said attorney Flint Taylor, who represents Jones. ”That’s something that needs to be changed before this nightmare can end.”