Man who says he was forced into confession of double murder walks out of prison

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CREST HILL, Ill. — After years of protests over a forced confession, Gerald Reed walked out of prison a free man Friday.

Reed was released after Gov. JB Pritzker commuted his sentence Thursday night to time served. 

Reed spent decades behind bars, all the while claiming he was forced to confess to a double murder. He said that confession was tortured out of him by two detectives — Michael Kill and Victor Breska, both of whom worked under disgraced Commander Jon Burge.

Reed was convicted in 1990 and sentenced to life in prison. His mother, Armanda Shackelford, one of his strongest supporters, has defended him tirelessly for decades, insistent on his innocence. 

The squad under Burge’s command was accused of torturing more than 100 people into confessions between 1972 and 1991. Burge was fired from the department in 1993 and convicted of perjury. He was sentenced to four years in prison and died in 2018 — the same year Reed was granted a new trial despite remaining in prison until Friday.

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