CHICAGO (AP) — A new judge must be appointed in a high-profile Chicago police torture case after the original judge stepped down over a potential conflict of interest.
Judge Evelyn Clay recused herself last week from Stanley Wrice's case following the subpoenas of former Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley and Appellate Court Judge Bertina Lampkin. She didn't say why she was stepping down, other than to say "this court knows some of the parties involved," the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Wrice, 59, was convicted in a 1982 gang rape and is serving a 100-year sentence at the Pontiac Correctional Center. He says he was tortured by Chicago Police officers, among them former commander Jon Burge, into giving a false confession. Burge was convicted of obstruction of justice and perjury in 2010.
Wrice's attorney, Jennfier Bonjean, said the move "very troubling" and possibly a way to keep Lampkin and Daley from testifying. Daley was Cook County State's attorney from 1980 to 1989.
The special prosecutor in the case didn't return the newspaper's call seeking comment.
In 2011, former Gov. Jim Thompson and U.S. Sen. Adlai Stevenson III filed briefs in support of a hearing for Wrice. The case has also received a boost from the Chicago Innocence Project at Northwestern University. Students obtained sworn testimony from a witness, who recanted his trial testimony that Wrice was involved in the rape.
Wrice's hearing is scheduled for Sept. 23.