Jon Burge Is Guilty

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Al Capone was convicted of tax evasion. Jon Burge was convicted of perjury. The law has a sense of humor.

After listening to Burge testify a couple weeks ago (the only day, however, that I attended his trial), I was expecting a hung jury. Surely there'd be someone on the jury certain Burge was a torturer and determined to make him pay. And surely there'd be someone, or a couple of someones, certain they'd been put on earth to protect a good cop in trouble just because he played rough with bad guys. Was there such a juror? Was he or she ground down by the others? I hope we find out.

Monday's verdict is gratifying to a lot of us at the Reader, which has been telling the story of Burge and police torture in Chicago since 1990. And it's got to be gratifying to former staff writer John Conroy, who stayed with the story for 20 years and who's been in Judge Joan Lefkow's courtroom blogging about it for Vocalo. Conroy's last pre-verdict post explores the vast gulf between what the jury was told about Burge and what the record showed. This wasn't a trial where uneasy jurors will go home, do a little research into the defendant and the crimes he was accused of, and fear they might have made a mistake.

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