It will be up to a special prosecutor to decide whether to retry him following his release. The special prosecutor did not return a call seeking comment Tuesday evening.
Wrice joins a number of men who in recent years have been released from prison because they were tortured into confessing at the hands of Burge’s men. Dozens of men — almost all of them black — have claimed that, starting in the 1970s, Burge and his officers beat or shocked them into confessing to crimes ranging from armed robbery to murder.
In court Tuesday, Wrice testified that two former officers beat him with a flashlight and a 20-inch piece of rubber — the same weapons, lawyers say, that others have said the two used on them to get them to confess to crimes or implicate others in crimes they did not commit.
The officers refused to testify at Tuesday’s hearing, citing their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
No Chicago police officers have been convicted of torturing suspects, but Burge was convicted in 2010 for lying in a civil suit when he said he’d never witnessed or participated in the torture of suspects. He is serving a 4 1/2-year sentence in federal prison for perjury and obstruction of justice. Chicago also has paid out millions of dollars to settle lawsuits in cases related to Burge.
The torture allegations also were a factor in former Illinois Gov. George Ryan‘s decision to institute a moratorium on the death penalty in 2000. Gov. Pat Quinn abolished the death penalty in 2011.