Judge orders release of inmate

March 17, 2011 at 2:04 PM

CHICAGO, March 17 (UPI) -- Russell Ainsworth says his client's release from an Illinois prison for confessing to a double murder to which someone else admitted is a great day for justice.

A Cook County judge Wednesday ordered the release of Eric Caine, who served 25 years of a life sentence for a double murder based on a confession he said was beaten out of him under the regime disgraced former Chicago police Cmdr. Jon Burge a quarter century ago.

The Chicago Tribune said Caine was to be released from the Menard Correctional Center in southern Illinois Thursday.

Burge was to turn himself in Wednesday to begin serving a 4-1/2-year sentence in North Carolina for lying to a federal jury about his knowledge of and participation in the beating of suspects.

Caine had recanted his admission, saying he only did so because he was beaten.

"This is a great day for justice," said Caine's attorney, Russell Ainsworth, a lawyer with the Exoneration Project. "On the day that Jon Burge is headed to prison, Eric Caine got the news that he is going to be coming home."

Tuneshia Lockett, Caine's cousin, said the family has "been praying for this for so long and now it's finally happening."

She said Caine would probably be living with family in Chicago.

"I'm going to hug him, and we're going to plot out the rest of his life together," Ainsworth said.

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