Chicago Agrees to $10 Million for Coerced Confession Case
Eric Caine spent 25 years in prison after falsely confessing to murdering an elderly couple in 1986, and the city of Chicago just authorized payment of a $10 million settlement to compensate him for his ordeal. Caine’s was the latest in lawsuit settlements that involved false confessions by those who were interrogated by police under the command of Commander Jon Burge. These lawsuits have cost the city nearly $70 million.
Police Misconduct Under the command of Burge, who is currently serving a four and a half year sentence on federal charges he lied regarding his knowledge of police torture, detectives used threats and violence to intimidate suspects or witnesses. Kenneth Boudreau, who worked under Burge, obtained confessions from over a dozen murder defendants whose charges were later dismissed or who were acquitted. Another detective, Ray Guevara, has been accused of beating suspects to get them to confess, purposely translating Spanish statements incorrectly, and threatening witnesses with criminal charges if they did not do as he said. In 2009, Juan Johnson won $21 million when it was discovered that Guerva threatened and intimidated witnesses in order to get them to testify against Johnson, who was acquitted at retrial after spending 11 years in prison. Caine Case At the age of 20, Caine was brought in for questioning in the case of a double homicide of an elderly couple on Chicago’s south side. He became a suspect when he was named by another neighborhood resident, who police said also implicated himself, but evidence later showed that the resident had been tortured using a technique known as “bagging.” The technique, similar to water-boarding had police intermittently suffocating him with a typewriter cover. When Caine was brought in for questioning, he was kicked down steps, punched in the stomach, and hit so hard in the head his eardrum ruptured. The beatings were so brutal, Caine confessed to the murder. Regardless of Facts According to court documents, Burge ordered those under him to resolve cases, regardless of the suspects guilt or innocence. Burge condoned the torture of prisoners, forcing false confessions and using any methods necessary to solve cases. Two inmates are working to get new trials after the main witness in their murder trial accused Guerva of intimidating him to make his statement. At a hearing for one of the prisoners, Guerva invoked his fifth amendment rights when asked about the incident. When police misconduct leads to wrongful imprisonment, a civil rights lawsuit may be in order. Contact Dallas-Fort Worth lawyers at Frenkel & Frenkel to schedule a free initial consultation regarding police misconduct.