PONTIAC, Ill. (AP) — A man who for decades insisted that Chicago police tortured him until he confessed to a rape he did not commit walked out of an Illinois prison on Wednesday after spending 30 years behind bars.
“It’s just an overwhelming feeling of joy, happiness that finally it’s over with,” 59-year-old Stanley Wrice said, moments after he walked into the arms of his two daughters, attorneys and others who greeted him as he left Pontiac Correctional Center.
Wrice, whose belongings after so long in prison amounted to a small box filled with photographs, legal papers and letters, said his immediate plans were to eat a cheeseburger and get some sleep; he said he had none Tuesday night.
Wrice’s release from the prison came a day after Cook County Judge Richard Walsh overturned his conviction, saying officers lied about how they had treated Wrice.
The ruling was just the latest development in one of the darkest chapters of Chicago Police Department history, in which officers working under former Lt. Jon Burge were accused of torturing suspects into false confessions and torturing witnesses into falsely implicating people in crimes.
Wrice has insisted for years that he confessed to the 1982 sexual assault after officers beat him in the groin and face. And a witness testified at a hearing Tuesday that he falsely implicated Wrice in the rape after two Chicago police officers under Burge’s command tortured him.
Wrice was sentenced to 100 years in prison.