Loyola University Chicago

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School of Law


Loyola University Chicago School of Law’s
Public Interest Law Reporter
Community Lawyering and the Campaign for Reparations for Burge Torture Victims

Friday, October 30, 2015
8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Register here

Symposium Editors: 
Jordan Fries and Elise Robie

Assistant Symposium Editors:
Emily Blumenstein and Elizabeth Kessler

 Symposium Brochure (PDF)

About the Conference • Loyola’s Public Interest Law Reporter proudly announces “Community Lawyering and the Campaign for Reparations for Burge Torture Victims,” to be held on October 30, 2015.

This year's symposium will address the decades-long reparations campaign for victims of systemic police torture inflicted by former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge and his detectives throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Through panel-led thematic and narrative retrospectives, speakers from the front lines of this campaign for justice will examine the impassioned collaboration between lawyers, activists, survivors and their families in mobilizing for the historic reparations ordinance approved on May 6, 2015. In so doing, the symposium will illuminate both the role and demands of activist lawyering in modern social justice movements in the context of national and Chicago-based activism against police torture and mass incarceration.

Conference Location • The Conference will be held in the Philip H. Corboy Law Center, Power Rogers & Smith Ceremonial Courtroom, on the 10th floor of 25 E. Pearson St. on Loyola University Chicago’s Water Tower Campus.

Registration Information • Loyola University Chicago School of Law is pleased to present this Conference at no charge for Loyola students and faculty and individuals not seeking CLE credits. For those who wish to obtain credit, registration fees are $50, or $40 for alumni. There is no charge for CLE credit for current faculty, staff, or students, and an immediate 50% fee reduction is offered for attorneys working in the areas of government or public interest. Seating is limited and registration is appreciated. Open seating will be available on a first-come basis to those who do not register. To register, please email Symposium Editor Jordan Fries, at jfries@luc.edu.

The Illinois MCLE Board approved this program for 4.5 hours of General MCLE credit.

About PILR • The Loyola Public Interest Law Reporter (PILR) is an innovative legal publication that focuses on reporting the most current legal topics in a news format directed to students, educators, and practitioners. Founded in 1995, PILR offers feature articles and news of legal developments in the areas of human rights, economic justice, criminal justice, the environment, and governance. In addition to an editorial staff selected through a write-on process, Loyola law students direct all aspects of PILR's research, writing, graphics, production, and business management.

For more information, please contact Symposium Editor, Elise Robie, at erobie@luc.edu.     

Conference Agenda
Friday, October 30, 2015
8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

8:30-9:15 a.m. Breakfast and Registration

9:15-9:30 a.m. Welcome and Introduction
Dean David Yellen, Loyola University Chicago School of Law

9:30-10:00 a.m. Featured Speaker
Joey Mogul, People's Law Office in Chicago

10:00--11:05am Session 1 – Early Legal Efforts
Flint Taylor, People’s Law Office in Chicago
Standish Willis, The Law Office of Standish E. Willis, Ltd.

11:05-11:15 a.m. Break

11:15 a.m-12:20 p.m. Session 2 – Intersection of Lawyers and Activists
Larry Redmond, Chicago Alliance Against Racist & Political Repression
Alice Kim, Criminal Justice Reform Activist

12:20-12:30 p.m. Break

12:30-1:35 p.m. Session 3 – Survivors Panel

Darrell Cannon, Anthony Holmes, and Gregory Banks

1:35-1:45 p.m.  Break

1:45-2:50 p.m. Session 4 – What’s Next?
Daniel Coyne, Chicago-Kent College of Law
Dorothy Burge, Chicago Torture Justice Memorials 

2:50-3:00 p.m. Closing Remarks & Reflections

Speaker Biographies


David Yellen has served as dean and professor of law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law since July 2005. Dean Yellen's major area of academic expertise is criminal law, particularly sentencing and juvenile justice. He has written extensively on the federal sentencing guidelines, served as an advisor to President Clinton's transition team on white-collar crime, and argued before the United States Supreme Court. Prior to his academic career, Dean Yellen clerked for a federal judge, practiced law in Washington, DC, and served as counsel to the Judiciary Committee of the US House of Representatives. In 2014, Cook County Criminal Division Judge Paul P. Biebel Jr. appointed Dean Yellen special master to identify current inmates who suffered police torture under former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge and are thus eligible for post-conviction relief.

Featured Speaker

JOEY MOGUL is a partner at the People’s Law Office.  Her practice focuses on representing people who have suffered from police and other governmental torture, abuse and misconduct in civil rights cases, and defending individuals in criminal and capital cases.  She also teaches and directs the Civil Rights Clinic at DePaul University College of Law. Ms. Mogul has sought justice for Chicago Police torture survivors for the last fifteen years, representing torture survivors in their criminal post-conviction proceedings and in federal civil rights cases.  She also successfully presented several of these cases to the UN Committee Against Torture and the Human Rights Committee in Geneva, Switzerland. Ms. Mogul authored the Chicago Police Torture Reparations Ordinance, which was approved in 2015 to set aside funds for survivors of police torture under former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge and his unit.

Session 1 – Early Legal Efforts

G. FLINT TAYLOR is a founding partner of the People’s Law Office in Chicago, which has been dedicated to litigating police violence, government misconduct, and death penalty cases for 45 years. He has litigated several landmark cases, including series of cases arising from a pattern and practice of police torture and cover-up by former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge, former Mayor Richard M. Daley, and numerous other law enforcement officials. His work in fighting against police torture in Chicago over the past three decades was instrumental in obtaining the conviction and imprisonment of Burge and, most recently, reparations for scores of men who were tortured by Burge and his officers. Mr. Taylor also played a major role in the “street files” case that uncovered the unlawful Chicago police practice of systematically violating Brady v. Maryland and has been instrumental in pioneering and litigating pattern and practice claims against municipalities, particularly in the areas of repeater cops, police discipline, and the code of silence. He is a founding editor of the Police Misconduct and Civil Rights Law Reporter, writes and lectures extensively in the fields of civil rights litigation and police torture, and frequently appears on radio and television to discuss these topics.

STAN WILLIS is a Chicago attorney specializing in personal injury, criminal defense and federal rights cases. Most of his civil rights and human rights practice involves suits against police for acts of violence and civil abuse. In 2005, Stan led a group of lawyers and community activists in an effort to focus international attention on police torture in Chicago and presented evidence of police torture before the Organization of American States’ Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. He also founded and co-chaired a group called Black People Against Police Torture, a grassroots, community-based organization whose mission is to mobilize the African-American community to ensure justice in Chicago police torture cases, and to build a Human Rights movement within the community. Mr. Willis has presented evidence of police torture before the United Nations Committee to Eliminate Racial Discrimination and coauthored a Report to the UN Committee Against Torture critiquing the United States’ Report on the Burge Torture cases. Finally, Mr. Willis drafted a bill titled “The Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission Bill,” which was signed into law in 2009.

Session 2 – Intersection of Lawyers and Activists

LARRY REDMOND is a civil rights attorney in Chicago. He has been active in third-party politics, having run for mayor of the City of Chicago, Cook County State’s Attorney, and Governor of the State of Illinois. He is currently an activist with the Illinois Coalition Against Torture, the Illinois Campaign to End the New Jim Crow, and the National Alliance Against Racial and Political Repression, where he is general counsel. A passionate artist and photojournalist, Mr. Redmond has also written four novels, a collection of short stories, and a stage play, all published by Penknife Press.

ALICE KIM is an activist, cultural organizer, educator and writer. She is a co-founder of the Chicago Torture Justice Memorials and is a long-time activist who has organized around the Death Row 10 and Burge torture cases since 1998. She teaches at Stateville Correctional Center through the Prison+Neighborhood Arts Project and is a Community Educator In-Residence with the Social Justice Initiative at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is also the Editor of Praxis Center, an online social justice resource center hosted by Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership.

Session 3 – Survivors Panel

ANTHONY HOLMES is the first known victim of electric shock, suffocation, and racial abuse at the hands of Jon Burge. He was drug from his house to the Area 2 police station in the middle of the night in May of 1973, where Burge handcuffed him to a chair and repeatedly tortured him. Mr. Holmes passed out from the shocks, which “felt like 1000 needles” going through his body, and the suffocation, undergoing a near-death experience. Mr. Holmes then gave a false confession to a murder that led to his spending 30 years in prison until his release in 2004.

GREGORY BANKS was arrested for murder in October of 1983, taken to Area 2 by several of Jon Burge’s midnight crew, and tortured. Two of Burge’s most notorious “right hand men” - John Byrne and Peter Dignan - kicked and beat Mr. Banks while he was handcuffed to a chair, then Dignan produced a plastic bag and announced that he had “something special for n-----s.” Dignan and Byrne then repeatedly suffocated Mr. Banks with the bag, while beating him, until he confessed. On the basis of the confession, Mr. Banks was convicted and spent more than 7 years in prison before the Illinois Appellate Court condemned his torture and overturned his conviction.

DARRELL CANNON was rousted from his bed only days after Gregory Banks by Byrne, Dignan, and the Burge midnight crew. He was subsequently taken to a remote site on the far southeast side of Chicago where he was tortured with a cattle-prod on his testicles, subjected to a mock execution by means of a shotgun repeatedly forced into his mouth, and hailed with a barrage of racial epithets. He also confessed, and served 24 years in prison—nine in Tamms super-max prison—before the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office dismissed his case.

Mr. Holmes, Mr. Banks, and Mr. Cannon are all truly exemplary survivors of police torture and the brutal and inhumane Illinois prison system. Against all odds, all three have been employed since their releases from prison, have repeatedly and publicly spoken out about their torture, despite the emotional pain it causes, and have not only served as powerful examples of the righteousness of the successful struggle for reparations for the survivors of police torture, but have also played a significant role as activists and spokespersons in that struggle.

Session 4 – What’s Next?

DANIEL COYNE is a clinical professor at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. Mr. Coyne practices criminal law in the Law Offices of Chicago-Kent and previously headed a private practice working exclusively on criminal cases. He also teaches several trial advocacy programs and focuses his pro bono efforts on representing low-income clients with AIDS. Mr. Coyne was named to serve on the Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission by former Governor Pat Quinn, and was appointed by the Chicago City Council in June 2015 to evaluate new claims under the Chicago Police Torture Reparations Ordinance. 

DOROTHY BURGE is an activist and educator in Chicago. She is currently the internship coordinator at Associated Colleges of the Midwest - Chicago, where she also teaches seminars on systematic racism, criminal justice, and other social problems. Ms. Burge has over 20 years of experience in community activism, including the empowerment of public housing residents and historic preservation of Bronzeville. She is also a member of Chicago Torture Justice Memorials and Black People Against Police Torture, where she confronts issues of policing in communities of color.