Petition to Demand Governor Pritkzer Pardon All Police Torture Survivors
By the Campaign to Free All Incarcerated Survivors of Police Torture (CFIST), initiated by the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (click here for the list of CFIST endorsers)
Illinois is the only state in the United States that has a Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission (TIRC), created by statute and appointed by the Governor of Illinois, to address a systemic pattern of police torture of mostly Black and Latinx men going back to at least the 1980s. Chicago is the only city in the United States that has, by city ordinance, apologized for this systemic torture and wrongful conviction of men and women. As part of the reparations package to address this grave injustice, public schools in Chicago are required to teach the history of Chicago police torture in 8th and 12th grades.
However, many police torture survivors remain in prison decades later, serving life sentences without the possibility of parole. To date, 120 cases of police torture have been acknowledged by the Governor’s Torture Commission. Some of these men – like Gerald Reed – have had their original convictions vacated due to evidence of torture and still remain in prison while their cases wind their way through the courts – a process that can take 10-15 years! On top of that, the Torture Commission has a backlog of 540 cases. At its current rate, the Commission will take another 50 years to review these cases. How many more wrongfully convicted men and women will die in prison in that time?
Governor Pritzker has the power to right this wrong with the stroke of a pen and use his executive authority to release those who have been wrongfully convicted due to police torture. Governor Pritzker, the people of Illinois call on you to use your power and pardon all police torture survivors now, before it’s too late!