Eric Caine, Alleged Jon Burge Victim, Sues City Over Torture, Wrongful Conviction
An alleged victim of torture at the hands of former Chicago police head Jon Burge filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against both the city and Burge over the 25 years he spent behind bars for a 1986 double murder he did not commit.
Eric Caine, 46, said in a news conference that he was tortured at the infamous South Side police station unofficially dubbed "the House of Screams," by detectives into confessing that he, at the age of 20, killed an elderly couple, Vincent and Rafaela Sanchez, in their South Chicago home.
The Chicago Tribune reports that Caine said his lawsuit aims to help put an end to police torture.
"I can't even put a number on the years I lost," Caine said Tuesday, as reported by the Tribune. "There are no words in my vocabulary to express the pain that I felt."
Caine has said, as reported by Fox Chicago, that a detective assaulted him, rupturing his eardrum, while he sat handcuffed to a chair during questioning. Under those circumstances, Caine claims, he uttered the confession that led to his conviction and life prison sentence, which a judge threw out earlier this year.
The man was finally released from prison in March shortly after Burge was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice for failing to disclose how much he knew about the police torture going on under his tenure. Burge was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison.
Chicago Innocence Project director David Protess addresses Caine's story in a The Huffington Post blog earlier this year. In October, Cook County Judge Michael McHale denied Caine's request for a certificate of innocence, making it next to impossible for him to collect restitution under an Illinois law that compensates officially exonerated prisoners.
"It's not the first time I've been denied," Caine reportedly told Protess in October. "I'll have to keep going through the fight. But I'm ready for the next round."
As NBC Chicago points out, Caine's lawsuit marks the seventh pending litigation against the city and Burge related to police torture, a matter which former mayor Richard M. Daley could potentially be held partially liable for, according to a federal judge's ruling earlier this year.
WATCH a previous report on Caine's March release from prison and tossed-out conviction: