Alton Logan, who spent 26 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit, is expected to receive a $10.25 million settlement as compensation for the decades he spent behind bars. The settlement is only one in a series that the city has had to finance due to the misconduct of Police Commander Jon Burge and his underlings.
Burge was fired in 1993 for his role in the torture and beating of criminal suspects, a number of whom falsely confessed and were wrongfully convicted. In 2010, he was convicted of perjury, and he is currently serving a four and a half year sentence in federal prison in North Carolina. He was previously scheduled to appear as a witness at Logan’s trial via videoconference, which would have been the first time in 20 years that he would have testified in court. Logan’s lawsuit maintains that Burge and other officers covered up and even concealed evidence that could have exonerated him. The
Jon Loevy, an attorney representing Logan, said the settlement is long overdue for a man who is still “struggling with the transition” nearly five years after his release from prison.
“Mr. Logan lost 26 years of his life. He went in in his 20’s. He came out in his 50’s. No amount of money can compensate a man for everything they lose under those circumstances,” he said.
“It’s hard to make a life when you’ve lost so much. He’s applied for hundreds of jobs. When they find out about this hole in his resume, it makes it very hard.”
Loevy added, “Mr. Logan’s case is an example of a sad truth: Sometimes, the wrong guy gets convicted of the crime. Fortunately in this instance, the truth came out.”
In 1982, Logan was falsely convicted of fatally shooting an off-duty Cook County corrections officer during a robbery attempt at a Chicago area McDonald’s restaurant. Despite a lack of physical evidence linking him to the crime, he was sentenced to life in prison.
Logan’s conviction was vacated in 2008 after it was discovered that convicted cop killer Andrew Wilson had confessed to murdering the officer in the McDonald’s restaurant. Burge’s detectives even discovered the murder victim’s gun in Wilson’s possession when he was later arrested for gunning down two other Chicago police officers, but this information was never turned over to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.
The City Council Finance Committee is expected to approve Logan’s compensation at a meeting today.
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