Burge gets good news as he heads into sentencing

January 20, 2011

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Former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge is scheduled to be in court Thursday for sentencing, and a ruling Wednesday gives him reason to be hopeful.  He was convicted of obstruction of justice and perjury and pre-sentencing report by a probation officer recommends sentencing considerations for those crimes start at about a year and a half and Judge Joan Lefkow agrees.

Prosecutors argued that the starting point for sentencing considerations should be closer to 30 years because of what Burge was lying about.  They say Burge was involved in and knew about police officers who tortured confessions out of suspects in the 1970s and 1980s.  But in a ruling Wednesday, Judge Joan Lefkow sided with Burge's defense attorneys that the appropriate place to start is the 15 to 21 month range.

Defense attorneys will argue that Burge was a good policeman who worked hard and should therefore be given a sentence on the low end, or even below the range.  Prosecutors will list off aggravating factors and request a longer prison term.  The hearing is expected to go two days, so Burge probably won't be sentenced until some time Friday.