Judge Dismisses Claims against Accused Detective, Rips on Controversial Torture Commission

October 31, 2023
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Will legally dubious torture commission finally go on trial?

A crucial legal battle may be coming together in Illinois that could determine whether Chicago’s judicial system will continue to be illegally undermined by a radicalized legislature.

Two weeks ago, a Will County judge dashed the hopes of exoneration attorneys attempting to secure the release of two convicted killers based on the claims that the men were falsely convicted as a result of misconduct by a former Chicago Police Department detective.

Twelfth Circuit Judge David Carlson rejected a ruling by the controversial Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission (TIRC) and determined TIRC’s support of misconduct claims against retired Detective Kriston Kato were “insufficient” to release two convicted killers, Devon Daniels and Kevin Murray.

Carlson’s judgment throws a wrench in a campaign by exoneration attorneys asserting Kato, who has denied the allegations, was corrupt and coerced false confessions from both men. The path to exoneration for Daniels and Murray and then the inevitable multimillion dollar lawsuits in federal court is now far more arduous for the attorneys representing the men.

Not surprisingly, Carlson’s ruling has been ignored by Chicago’s mainstream media, which has established a clear pattern of reporting only on the side of the offenders claiming abuse by police and ignoring overwhelming evidence that many of the allegations are baseless. A pattern that has emerged over decades, Chicago media selling out to this powerful and well-funded arm of the anti-police movement has had damaging impact, including the potential poisoning of jury pools comprised of citizens who have not been informed about what is truly taking shape in Chicago and Illinois.

It also includes the media’s role in the existence and growth of the institution that paved the way for the men to challenge their convictions and hurl attacks against former Detective Kato: The Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission.

Rather than a venue for innocent men to gain their freedom from false convictions, TIRC is a manifestation of what is now a common and sinister strategy of the radicalized Democratic Party. In this strategy, public officials and their media allies conspire to create commissions, policies, and laws in places far from the public eye in a place that might be best called the "deep state". Decorated in the guise of social justice blather, these hidden campaigns may appear largely harmless at first, but in time they grow to have powerful impacts upon a city, state, and the nation itself.

Such tactics are more common in Illinois and Chicago than any other American state or city, none more so than TIRC, a commission created by the state legislature empowering a collection of unelected and often fiercely anti-police advocates who have the right to resurrect long settled murder convictions and return them back to the criminal courts in order to attack the justice system and the character of highly-decorated police officers. Since its creation, the power of TIRC has expanded like an aggressive cancer, and, as its influence has widened, few elected officials or public servants have shown the courage to call into question its legitimacy.

Perhaps the crowning achievement of TIRC was its role in releasing Jackie Wilson from prison for the 1982 slayings of two police officers, a long-coveted trophy by the radical left.

While Judge Carlson declined to rule the statute is not unconstitutional in his courtroom, he questioned whether TIRC was “perilous to our system.”

Commenting on the issue of TIRC, Judge Carlson said:

“There is an old saying, you know, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and I think that is absolutely appropriate when reviewing the TIRC statute.
The act itself skirts very closely to the edge of constitutionality because in reviewing the TIRC petitions, or at least TIRC findings, there is a lot of interpretation that the commission makes evidentiary issues that a jury has already determined and/or an appellate court has already determined, and the weight that they gave it…appears to be challenged in these TIRC decisions and I think that is something that is very perilous to our system.”

Whether or not TIRC is the result of good intentions is debatable, but the fact that its commissioners have such unbridled authority to undermine the judiciary is indeed “perilous to our system.”

Small wonder then that the motion questioning the constitutional validity of TIRC by attorneys representing Kato initiated an immediate and intense attack from an attorney representing one of the offenders, according to Chicago City Wire. Shortly after Kato’s attorneys filed the motion on the constitutionality of TIRC, exoneration attorney Jennifer Bonjean assailed the attorneys defending Kato for filing the motion, arguing they should be disqualified from the case.

Judge Carlson’s ruling that TIRC is potentially “perilous to our system” does not seem to agree with Bonjean’s criticism of the attorneys representing Kato and that the attorneys representing Kato were, in fact, fulfilling their duty not only to their client but to the Constitution as well.

As it is now, a long and contentious battle over the Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission may begin.

Attorneys representing the convicted killers can proceed with a post-conviction hearing for their imprisoned clients, but even these attorneys acknowledge Carlson’s dismissal of TIRC’s ruling prejudice their exoneration campaign in the post-conviction process. Will these attorneys appeal Carlson’s dismissal of their exoneration claims based on Judge’s Carlson’s dismissal of TIRC’s recommendation, potentially giving rise to further challenges to the commission in higher courts?

That road might well be worth traveling to confront a statute that, as Judge Carlson says, is “perilous to our system.”

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