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After 36 Years In Prison, Jackie Wilson Walks Free

CHICAGO (CBS)—After nearly four decades living his life behind bars, convicted double-murderer Jackie Wilson was freed from prison today on bond while he awaits a retrial a judge ordered last week.

CBS 2's Vi Nguyen reported from the criminal courthouse on 26th and California Friday evening, where Wilson spoke earlier today with his attorneys by his side shortly after he walked out of prison.

"Being a victim of another one of Jon Burge's brutalities—it's been a rocky ride, and I'd like to just move forward with my life without any further complications and I'd like to make my contributions to society," Wilson said.

Wilson, 65, and his brother Andrew, were convicted in the 1982 killings of police officers Richard O'Brien and William Fahey, and Wilson was serving a life sentence.

Attorneys for Wilson argues he was beaten into giving a confession, like his brother Andrew, by Burge and his Area Two detectives—long-accused of overseeing the torture of black suspects

Dozens of black men have accused Burge and his detectives of abuse and torture in the 1970's and 80's.

Jackie Wilson
Jackie Wilson has been granted a new trial in the murder of two Chicago police officers in 1982, after a Cook County judge tossed Wilson's confession, saying it was tainted by torture allegations. (Photo credit: Cook County Sheriff)

A judge on June 14 overturned his conviction

"Since such a confession was used against Jackie Wilson to obtain his conviction, he is entitled to a new trial that confession may not be used," Judge William Hooks said when handing down his decision last week.

Prosecutors said they would fight in court for a new conviction.

"We are preparing and will be prepared to retry this case and have every intention to do so," special prosecutor Michael O'Rourke said.

One of Wilson's attorneys, Flint Taylor, expressed confidence that the state wouldn't have a case without the confession that led to Wilson's conviction.

"It's time for the special prosecutor to stop using taxpayers' funds to promote a Burge torture case when in fact the evidence does not support another trial," Flint said.

The president of the Fraternal Order of Police told Nguyen he was disappointed in the judge's decision.

This is the second time Wilson's convictions have been tossed out. His first conviction was overturned when an appeals court ruled he should not have been tried alongside his brother. He was convicted at his retrial in 1989 and sentenced to life in prison.

Wilson's next court appearance is scheduled for August.

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