The opinion of the court was delivered by: Elaine E. Bucklo, United States District Judge.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Leonard Hinton was convicted of three counts of murder in Illinois
state court and sentenced to life imprisonment. He petitions for a writ
of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. The respondent (hereinafter
"the State") moved to dismiss Mr. Hinton's claims as procedurally
barred. I granted the motion on all but one claim, that his confession
was coerced, see Hinton v. Snyder, 128 F. Supp.2d 1165 (N.D. Ill. 2001),
which is before me now on the merits. Mr. Hinton seeks an evidentiary
hearing to present new evidence related to his allegations of physical
According to the allegations in his petition, Mr. Hinton was arrested
on a warrant for an aggravated battery (unrelated to the murder charges
here) and taken into custody at 5:00 p.m. on November 25, 1983. He was
taken to the Area II Violent Crimes Detective Unit of the Chicago Police
Department ("Area II"), then under the command of Lieutenant Jon Burge.
He was handcuffed to the wall of a small room with no windows or clocks
and no furniture other than an iron bench. Supp. R. at 6-8. He remained
in custody until approximately 3:30 p.m. on November 27, when he
confessed to the murders of Dorothy McKnight and Edward Bradley and the
shooting of John Durham.*fn1
The State proceeded first and offered rebuttal testimony on Mr.
Hinton's pretrial motion to suppress his statements. See R. at 2, 32,
101; Supp. R. 70-71. The State presented testimony from officers and a
state's attorney who had contact with Mr. Hinton while he was in
custody. Officer Bajenski, who arrested Mr. Hinton and interrogated him
at Area II, testified that Mr. Hinton was allowed to use the washroom,
R. at 38, 42, and that he did not observe any blood on Mr. Hinton's
clothing on November 25th, the first night he was in custody, id. at 42.
Officer Kripple,*fn2 who
interrogated Mr. Hinton along with Officer
Bajenski, testified that Mr. Hinton was fed on the morning of the 26th
and on the 27th, id. at 54, 58, that he never complained about being
struck, Id. at 54, 61, that he remained in the interview room the whole
time, id. at 57-58, and that he was not handcuffed for the whole time,
id. at 60. Assistant State's Attorney Lori*fn3 Levin, who ultimately
took Mr. Hinton's statement, said that he never complained of
mistreatment. Id. at 73.
Officers Bajenski and Kripple and Ms. Levin denied that Mr. Hinton was
ever struck or threatened in their presence. Id. at 39, 54, 73. Ms. Levin
also said that, when she came to take Mr. Hinton's statement, she asked
him why he changed his mind, and Mr. Hinton said it was because he was
scared before and wanted to tell the truth. Id. at 89.
Mr. Hinton's version of events differed dramatically from the State's
witnesses. He testified that, over the course of the two days he was in
custody, he was interrogated by several officers and an assistant state's
attorney. Mr. Hinton said that, after he was arrested and taken to Area
II, he was taken to a small room upstairs with no clocks, windows, or
furniture, except for an iron bench. Supp. R. at 6-7. He was handcuffed
by one arm to an iron ring in the wall Id. at 7-8. Fifteen or twenty
minutes later, two officers came in and began to interrogate him. The
officer he identified as the "short one" told him to "start talking."
Id. at 10. When Mr. Hinton said he didn't know what the officer was
talking about, the other officer, later identified as the "tall one,"
said "I think he's lying. I think we'd better, you know, show him what we
can do to you [sic]." Id. Then the tall officer started to hit Mr. Hinton
in the face with an open hand, while he was still handcuffed to the
wall. Id. The short officer kicked Mr. Hinton in the stomach, and the
tall officer hit him in the face again and told him to talk. Id. at 11.
Mr. Hinton said that he begged the officers to stop, but that they just
asked if he was ready to talk about the murder. Id. at 12. The officers
left and came back about a half hour later and talked to Mr. Hinton, this
time without hitting him. Id. at 13-15.
Mr. Hinton said that, later, during another interrogation session, the
same two officers showed him a gun, which they told him was the murder
weapon, and asked if he was ready to talk. Id. at 16. After Mr. Hinton
asked for a lawyer,*fn4 he says that one of the officers hit him on the
elbow with the gun, then hit him under the chin. Id. at 17-18. The blow
"busted" Mr. Hinton's chin and blood dripped on the jersey that he was
wearing. Id. The officers left again, then returned and took Mr. Hinton
to a line-up. Id. at 19. After the line-up, the officers brought Mr.
Hinton back to the small windowless room and handcuffed him to the wall
again. Id. at 20. The tall officer started hitting him again in the face
with an open hand. Id. The short officer grabbed his free arm and pulled
him away from the wall, and his handcuffed hand became numb. Id.
A little while later, the first two officers returned, and the short
officer was carrying a thick plastic trash bag in his hand. Id. at
23-24. The short officer put the plastic bag over Mr. Hinton's head, and
the tall officer handcuffed both of his hands to the wall. Id. at 24-25.
The short officer hit Mr. Hinton in the stomach while the bag was over
his head, and Mr. Hinton struggled and eventually passed out. Id. at 25.
When he came to, the tall officer was talking to him, and asked him if he
was ready to talk. Id. at 25-26. Mr. Hinton said no, and the officers put
the bag over his head again, but did not leave it on as long as the first
time. Id. at 26. When the officers could not get Mr. Hinton to talk after
the second bagging, they left the room.
About a half an hour later, Ms. Levin came in to see if Mr. Hinton
wanted to talk. Mr. Hinton told her that he had been beaten. When she
asked him about the murder, he did not respond, and she left. Id. at
26-27. The two officers returned and beat Mr. Hinton again. Id. at 27.
Ms. Levin returned and questioned Mr. Hinton for about ten minutes, but
Mr. Hinton continued to deny any knowledge of the murders. Id. at 28.
All of this time (it is not clear from his testimony how much time had
elapsed), Mr. Hinton said that he had not slept, had not eaten, and had
not been allowed to use the washroom. He urinated on the floor of the
room where he was handcuffed. Id. When the first two officers returned,
they berated him for urinating on the floor and hit him, but left without
questioning him. Id. at 30.
After a few hours, Lt. Burge came in and asked Mr. Hinton if he
remembered him from a 1980 arrest. Id. at 31. He asked if Mr. Hinton was
ready to talk about the murders, and Mr. Hinton again denied any
knowledge of them. Id. at 32. Mr. Hinton testified that Lt. Burge asked
him if he was familiar with the electric rod. Id. at 33. Lt. Burge told
Mr. Hinton that he was "the same one that had the Wilson brothers," that
the Wilson brothers had killed a police officer, and that he had gotten
them to talk.*fn5 Id. Lt. Surge then told Mr. Hinton that, after he
left, the state's attorney would return, and Mr. Hinton would be sorry if
he didn't talk to her. Id. at 34. Ms. Levin came back, but Mr. Hinton
told her he had nothing to say. Id.
After Ms. Levin left, three new officers, whom Mr. Hinton had not yet
seen, came into the room. Supp. R. at 34. They uncuffed Mr. Hinton from
the wall, handcuffed his arms behind his back and led him from the small
windowless room, down some stairs, to what Mr. Hinton said he thought was
the basement.*fn6 They took him to a room and cuffed his hands over a
pole above his head. One officer pulled down Mr. Hinton's pants and
undershorts, spread his legs apart, and cuffed his ankles to poles in the
floor. Id. at 37-38. Another
officer came forward with a rod that was
attached to a black box carried by the third officer. Id. at 38. ...