Illinois Appellate Court Issues an Important Decision in Shawn Whirl’s Police Torture Case

On August 12, 2015, the Illinois Appellate Court issued an important decision in the Shawn Whirl police torture case that  was litigated by Flint Taylor and Ben Elson of the People’s Law Office and Tara Thompson of the University of Chicago Exoneration Project. The Appellate Court, in a 36 page opinion, held that Whirl, who had consistently maintained that he was tortured into giving a false confession by an Area 2 detective who had previously worked for decades with Jon Burge, was entitled to a new motion to suppress hearing on the question of whether his confession was tortured from him and should consequently be barred from evidence at a new trial. The Court all but mandated that Whirl, who has spent 25 years in prison, be released without the formality of a new hearing and trial, finding that “it is impossible to conceive how the State could prevail at a new suppression hearing,” and that “without Whirl’s confession, the State’s case was non-existent.” Whirl’s lawyers have called on the Special Prosecutor, who represents the State in the Whirl case, to heed the clear message in the Court’s opinion and agree to dismiss Whirl’s case rather than pursuing further appeals at the taxpayers’ expense.

Read the opinion here.

Listen to the oral argument made by attorney G. Flint Taylor here.

Also, follow the links to the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times articles.