A recent report by special prosecutors revealed that members of the Chicago Police Department, under the command of Jon Burge, tortured nearly 150 black suspects during the 1970s and '80s, employing techniques such as electroshock, beatings, suffocation, and mock Russian roulette exercises. While the four-year, $6 million investigation has proven longstanding allegations of abuse, the crimes are too old to prosecute. “It is our judgment that the evidence in those cases would be sufficient to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt,” the investigators concluded, noting “regrettably” there is no way to “avoid the effect of the statute of limitations.”
Despite the lack of tangible consequences for those responsible for meting out such abuse, many believe the investigation's findings have their own merits. Interviewed for a Chicago Tribune article titled "Truth Has Value, Even Without Justice" by Rex W. Huppke, UConn philosophy professor Michael Lynch supports the argument that "it's critical for Americans to learn and face the realities behind governmental malfeasance, particularly when it involves crimes as serious as torture. 'Unless we look at it in all its gory detail, we may miss the causes of it,' he said. 'If we don't understand what the causes are, we won't know how to prevent it.'"
The sentiment echoes the central themes of Lynch's book True to Life, in which he explains why we should care about truth, arguing that truth and its pursuit are part of living a happy life, important in our personal relationships and for our political values.