Inmate Says Police Abuse Led to His Murder Conviction

July 21, 2009

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A Chicago man who says he was tortured into confessing to murder in 1986, is asking for a new trial. Lawyers for Michael Tillman say he was abused by detectives working under indicted former Police Commander Jon Burge.

Michael Tillman was 20 years old when he was sentenced to life for rape and murder. Tillman attorney Locke Bowman says that conviction rested mainly on an alleged oral confession detectives beat out of him.

BOWMAN: His head was forced back and 7-Up was squirted into his nose, which like the refined methods of waterboarding that are in the news so much, produced a sensation of suffocation and was highly coercive.

Bowman says attorneys will ask a Cook County judge to assign their petition for a new trial to special prosecutor Stuart Nudelman. Nudelman is a former judge who was named in April to review cases that involve allegations of torture under Burge.