Trial of Sadistic Chicago Torture Cop Ramps Up

Lt. John Burge and his men electrocuted, suffocated and beat confessions out of black suspects in Chicago for 20 years, until 1993. Some of his victims ended up on death row. Jury selection has begun in his trial.

More than 100 victims claim they had confessions tortured out of them at his hands. Some "spoke of beatings, gun threats and a mysterious black box used to emit electric shocks," according to the AP. "One said his tormentors poured soda into his nose."

Many are expected to testify in he trial — in which Burge stands accused of "lying when he denied in a civil lawsuit that he and other detectives had tortured anyone." (There is a statute of limitations on the torture itself, which authorities acknowledge occurred.) Some of those he 'interrogated' were released when the offenses came to light, but Burge had so far escaped punishment.

Patrick Fitzgerald, the intrepid prosecutor behind investigations into Rod Blagojevich and the Valerie Plame leak among other high-profile cases, is apparently behind the new trial. Although David Flint, an attorney who has represented Burge's victims over the last 20 years, points out that many of his clients are still incarcerated. "There really can't be any full justice until the torturers are all in jail, and the torture victims are released and given fair trials," he told the AP.