Ronald Kitchen was beaten and tortured by notorious police commander Jon Burge and other white detectives under his command until finally confessing to a quintuple homicide he did not commit. Convicted of murder and sentenced to die, he spent the next two decades in prison—including a dozen years on death row—before at last winning his release and exoneration.
Kitchen cofounded the Death Row 10, a self-organized collective of African American men who had been sentenced to death. While on death row, they learned that they not only shared a death sentence, but that they had all been tortured by Burge and his Midnight Crew of rogue police detectives.
From their prison cells, the Death Row 10, along with their families, activists, and lawyers, organized a grassroots campaign that was instrumental in turning the tide against the death penalty in Illinois. Ronald Kitchen won his freedom in 2009.
Kitchen will be in conversation with Bernardine Dohrn, founding and former director of the Children and Family Justice Center and a long-time human rights and juvenile justice activist.
Presented by the Human Rights Lab in partnership with Stories Connect and the Social Justice Committee at the University Church.