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Senior investigator, Better Government
Association; Author, 'Unspeakable Acts, Ordinary People: The Dynamics of Torture'
John Conroy is a senior investigator at the Better Government
Association. He is best known for his two books ("Unspeakable Acts,
Ordinary People: The Dynamics of Torture," and "Belfast Diary: War as
a Way of Life") and for his extensive and ground-breaking coverage of
the Chicago police torture scandal, which involved more than 100
victims. Conroy’s articles were cited in cases argued before the
Illinois Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals and ultimately
helped free four men who had been resident on death row in Illinois.
The four, pardoned by Governor George Ryan in January 2003, sued the
city of Chicago, alleging that they had been tortured into confessing
to murders they had not committed, and in early 2008, the city settled
the suits for $19.8 million. In the wake of the settlement, mother of
one of the victims was quoted in The New York Times saying she thought
her son would be dead but for Conroy’s articles. Conroy’s work has
been published in a variety of newspapers and magazines in the United
States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, and has reported on criminal
justice issues for Chicago Public Radio. He is also a frequent
lecturer on college and university campuses.