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New money rejuvenates torture-claims commission

CHICAGO (AP) — A state commission examining police torture claims is being rejuvenated with a fresh injection of cash less than a year after it was set to close.

The Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission's director says Friday that the $300,000 lawmakers approved for the panel will enable it to investigate a backlog of 100 cases.

Last year, David Thomas warned the panel's financial woes meant dozens of prisoners who claimed they'd confessed under torture might never have their cases reheard.

The commission was established in 2009 in the wake of allegations that former Chicago police Lt. Jon Burge and his subordinates tortured suspects.

The $300,000 is the commission's largest-ever budget. Thomas says it'll help hire a staff attorney and investigator.

On Thursday, the commission handed five new cases to a county judge.

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