Exposing the Cops' Gestapo Tactics

Andrew Maxwell
By: Andrew Maxwell

Andrew Maxwell is one of the Death Row 10 - ten men who were sent to face execution after being tortured by Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge.

Burge, the former head of police in Area 2, was fired from his job in 1993 for torturing more than 40 Black men. (See the article in this issue about the Death Row 10.)

Yet not a single one of the Death Row 10 has had any attention paid to their charges of torture - until Andrew recently won an evidentiary hearing.

The Campaign to End the Death Penalty is calling for an investigation into the issue of tortured confessions. If you would like more information or would like to get involved, please write to: CEDP, P.O. Box 25730, Chicago, IL 60625, or call 312-409-7145. Petitions and facts sheets are available.

My name is Andrew Maxwell. I am a member of the Death Row 10. I have been on death row for 12 years. I am writing to you from Pontiac prison in Illinois.

How are you? As for myself, I'm blessed. But at the same time I feel resentment for saying that because of the loss of one of the death-row family members today. May he rest in peace. (Andrew Kokoraleis was executed in Illinois on March 17, 1999). But the struggle goes on.

I received some good news earlier this month that could possibly further the fight and struggle of the Death Row 10. I received an evidentiary hearing from the federal court. Go figure, because the federal court doesn't normally give out hearings. My issues are ineffective assistance of counsel and our favorite - the Gestapo tactics of Area 2 police. Receiving this hearing is very important, because if it goes right, I can kick the door wide open for all of us. The thing I'm worried about is that these bureaucrats could use it to close the door on us even tighter.

I am seeking help and ideas wherever they are. If you're able to, this is what I need you to do. I need some documentation stating that the state was aware of Area 2 Gestapo tactics before our trials or some documentation of it. We're doing as much as possible on our end. One way or another, my case will set a major precedent. Hopefully, it will be for the better.

Any information you come up with can be sent to my attorney: Gary Ravitz, 343 S. Dearborn, Suite 1510, Chicago, IL 60604

Take care and stay safe.
Respectfully yours,

Andrew Maxwell, #B-04031
P.O. Box 99
Pontiac, IL 61764