Chicago Indymedia :
Chicago Indymedia

News :: [none]

Madison Hobley, Death Row Ten police torture victim, nears crucial hearing

Death row victim of torture at hands of Chicago Police nears crucial evidentiary hearing for a new trial and possible release.
On Monday, September 17, a year-and-a-half long series of evidentiary hearings will culminate with the presentation of final evidence on the part of the defense and the prosecution in the capital case of Madison Hobley. Hobley is a member of the "Death Row 10", a group of African American men who remain on death row despite widespread accounts of their torture at the hands of Burge, who was forced to resign in 1993, and others in the Chicago
Police Department.

At the previous hearing in July, Hobley's Judge ordered both parties to complete investigations and present the last of their evidence, indicating that he would tolerate no further delay on the part of the State. Once complete, the Court will rule as to whether it will send Hobley back to death row, grant him a new trial, or set him free.

Anti-death penalty activists have been fighting for over three years for Hobley and for all the Death Row Ten victims of torture at the hands of former Area II Violent Crimes Commander Jon Burge. Burge, who commanded a group of police implicated in the torture claims of over 60 Black men in Chicago, was forced into retirement in 1993 after nearly a decade of protest by anti-police brutality groups.

Hobley's case is probably the most compelling instance of police brutality and wrongful death sentences in Illinois today. Hobley was convicted of an arson death in which his OWN WIFE AND INFANT SON WERE KILLED based on testimony by a convicted arsonist and obviously falsified evidence.

Despite irregularities in evidence and testimonies, a purported yet missing confession, a gas can that has been physically altered, and a signed affidavit by Julie Harmon (Madison’s appointed public defender) acknowledging she did not represent to the fullest of her abilities during the trial, Madison Hobley is still incarcerated on death row and is undergoing further evidentiary hearings.

On Saturday, September 8 at 6:30 p.m. at the Hothouse on 31 E. Balbo, Chicago, death row inmate Madison Hobley will call in via speaker phone in a "Live from Death Row" event. Other speakers will include exonerated death
row inmate Ronald Jones and David Bates, who is a torture victim of former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge.

On September 17, after 14 years of incarceration, Hobley has an evidentiary hearing that could release him or win him a new trial. A strong public turnout at the "Live from Death Row" event could not only help publicize Hobley's case, but build a groundswell of support for abolition of the death penalty. Hobley could be the 14th death row inmate released from prison since the reestablishment of capital punishment in 1976.

Madison's case has not only been profiled here. It is the subject of an ongoing investigation by Channel 5 News and has been featured on Geraldo and in the Chicago Reader. is an article by Jon Conroy detailing Hobley's claims of torture. It is one of a series of articles begun in 1990 on torture by the Chicago police and the struggles of their victims. The entire series is readable by visiting



Account Login

Media Centers


This site made manifest by dadaIMC software