Ill. high court to hear police torture arguments

By KAREN HAWKINS | September 15, 2011 | 3:10 AM EDT

CHICAGO (AP) — The Illinois Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in the case of a man who claims Chicago police tortured him into confessing to a brutal rape decades ago.


Wrice says officers working under convicted former Lt. Jon Burge coerced his confession, and that he should get a new trial.

Prosecutors argue that because they could convict Wrice even without the allegedly coerced confession, the court should consider his torture the legal equivalent of "harmless error" that didn't affect the outcome of his case.

Advocates say the Wrice ruling could open the door to new hearings for as many as 20 incarcerated men with Burge-related torture claims.

Burge is serving a term in federal prison following his conviction last year on perjury and obstruction of justice charges.