Jon Burge may have tortured Chicago citizens, but he sure didn't commit perjury. That's the argument the former police commander's defense team is making in court this week. In his latest post at Vocalo, John Conroy -- who has covered the Chicago police torture scandal for two decades -- explains that Burge's lawyers are suggesting their client was not required by oath to tell the truth when he filed written responses to two separate lists of questions in a 2003 civil case. That's important because the trial is only concerned with charges of obstruction of justice and perjury, not the actual acts of torture he allegedly (and all but undoubtedly) committed.
Conroy sums up the frustrations of many when he writes that "it may be something of a small miracle that there is anything at all to indict Burge for." His recap also underscores how ridiculous it is that state law imposes a statute of limitations on crimes human rights organizations describe as torture. Hopefully, that's the lesson pols and the media will take away from these proceedings.