Stanley Wrice - Wrongly Incarcerated for 31 years

Stanley Wrice was sentenced to 100 years in prison for a rape and sexual assault that he did not commit. In 1983, at age 28, Wrice was sadistically beaten and tortured into making a false confession for a rape that he was not involved in. The two officers who tortured Wrice were notorious Area 2 police officers – Sergeant John Byrne and Detective Peter Dignan – acting under the direct supervision of disgraced former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge (a convicted perjurer: read more). Wrice contends that one detective struck him with a flashlight and another hit him with a length of rubber hose. Jon Burge beat Wrice in the groin and face until he confessed.

Wrice’s conviction was finally overturned by the time he turned 59. A new trial was ordered after the Judge agreed that torture took place. A witness against Wrice also recanted, testifying that he implicated Wrice after he also was tortured. Prosecutors said they would not retry the case and Wrice was set free. Wrice was wrongly incarcerated for 31 years, three months, and two days.

Today, Wrice’s struggle continues. On October 16, 2014, Judge Byrne of Cook County denied Wrice his certificate of innocence, which would have granted Wrice at most $199,150 for his wrongful incarceration. Although not a large sum of money for the 31 years he spent locked away from his life, friends and family, it’s the least Cook County could have done.

Bonjean was shocked by this decision. She stated to the Chicago Tribune, “Judge Byrne should not only have ruled in his favor, he should have issued an apology on behalf of the system to Mr. Wrice and instead he spit in Mr. Wrice’s face.” Wrice also stated he had expected to be vindicated by the judge. He called the decision “a dagger in my heart.”

Furthermore, by receiving a certificate of innocence, the law would have provided Wrice with job search and placement services, and re-entry services. Unfortunately now due to Judge Byrnes failure to grant Wrice a certificate of innocence, Wrice is once again denied what he rightly deserves by the justice system. (See: IL ST CH 37 ¶ 439.8; 20 ILCS 1015/2; 20 ILCS 1710/1710-125)

Wrice's civil lawsuit is currently pending against Jon Burge, other disgraced area 2 cops, and the  Cook County Police Department.