Illinois high court hears police torture arguments

September 15, 2011 • National News

FILE – This undated file photo provided by the Illinois Department of Corrections shows inmate Stanley Wrice. On Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011, the Illinois Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case of Wrice, a Chicago man who’s spent nearly 30 years behind bars for a crime he says police brutalized him into wrongfully confessing to committing. Wrice’s [auth] lawyers say he’s seeking a fair hearing on his torture claims for the first time and the chance to be tried without what they say is a tainted confession. (AP Photo/Illinois Department of Corrections, File)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Supreme Court justices have questioned prosecutors about evidence in the rape conviction of a man who says he was tortured into confessing by Chicago police officers.

The court heard arguments Thursday in the case of Stanley Wrice, who claims Lt. Jon Burge’s men tortured him into confessing 30 years ago.

Prosecutors argued Thursday that the state has enough evidence to convict Wrice without the allegedly coerced confession. They want justices to rule that the confession was the legal equivalent of “harmless error.”

But justices pressed special prosecutor Myles O’Rourke about the other evidence.

Justice Charles Freeman asked whether there is any physical evidence linking Wrice to the crime. O’Rourke acknowledged there are no fingerprints and no DNA.

Burge was convicted last year of lying about the torture of suspects.

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