Judge Thomas J. Hennelly has attempted to illegally reverse the order of another judge, Thomas V. Gainer, who vacated the conviction of Gerald Reed and ordered a new trial. Gainer vacated Reed’s conviction after overwhelming evidence that his “confession” to a double murder in 1990 was the fruit of horrible torture by police working under Commander Jon Burge, torture so extreme that it broke his thigh bone.
The one hundred people packed into Hennelly’s courtroom Friday February 14, 2020 were stunned when Hennelly announced his decision to send Reed back to Prison to serve a life term. They left seething with anger, and in tears. Armanda Shackelford, Reed’s mother and a leader of the Chicago Alliance, responded in disbelief. “I never would have thought that this judge would do what he did today,” she said.
A Circuit Court judge has no authority to reverse the decision of another circuit court judge. Significantly, Hennelly’s boss as a prosecutor was once none other than Robert Milan, the special prosecutor appointed to Reed’s case. Horrible Hennelly is not only abusing his power, he's doing so to protect the corrupt lawyers who enable police torture. Enough is enough!
Now is the time for Governor J. B. Pritzker to stand up and sign the papers freeing Gerald Reed from the torture he continues to endure in prison. Sign the petition to demand Pritzker do the right thing and bring Gerald home.
Chicago Illinois is known as the “Police Torture Capital” of the United States. Illinois is the only state in the U. S. that has set up an official state Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission. Young people, almost all Black or Latinx, have been systematically tortured by police and been forced to falsely confess to crimes they did not commit. Most of the victims were children when they were tortured. Many are serving life sentences in prison without possibility of parole.
Governor Pritzker: you have the power to right this wrong with the stroke of your pen. Pardon all survivors of police torture! Free them all now!