It is truly sad to send out this notification that Grayland Johnson died in his prison cell in Illinois yesterday. Grayland was one of the “Death row 10” a group of men that had been tortured by Burge and his men into signing a false confession that sent him to death row. Grayland was tortured in the most brutal way, including having his head pushed into a toilet bowl that police officers urinated in.
We must keep up this fight — with Grayland in mind — and expose the prison system for what it is, brutal, degrading and racist.
Campaign to End the Death Penalty
Here is a notice from Mark Clements, himself a victim of Burge’s police torture….
Early morning I was notified by inmate Robert Allen that Grayland Johnson had been found dead inside his prison cell at Stateville Correctional Center. Prison Officials throughout the day would not deny nor confirm the death, however at approximately five O’clock this evening I was notified by the Johnson family that they have not been notified of the death. Immediate family have contacted the prison and have been told that they would have to call Springfield media relations. For more then eight hours the family was on pin and needles awaiting any information back from the Illinois Department of Corrections, but learn of the death at this ten o’clock hour through inmates contacting me to report the death.
Johnson is one of ten inmates that was on death row that birth the “DEATH ROW TEN”. Johnson has always maintain that while taken to area three violent crime unit he was tortured by detectives working under the command of Jon Burge to confess to a murder in which evidence seems to suggest that he is indeed innocent. Johnson was 58 years old, survived by a daughter.
I often communicated with Johnson and listening to his discuss how he was treated by the criminal justice system often led me to think how difficult it was for the poor to prove their innocence even when the evidence is clear and convincing that you are innocent. Please keep the Johnson family in your prayers. Cards or donations can be sent for the family through Mark Clements, Suite #105, Att: Grayland Johnson, 1325 S. Wabash Ave., in Chicago, IL 60605. As we fight to bring justice for the torture victims and many of you hear me speak that inmates might die while incarcerated, this is a true reality of that fact. Illinois prisons are design to degrade and demoralize human beings regardless if they are innocent or guilty.
Johnson often complain of stomach problems in relation with the food they are served nearly 100 percent soy bean and would often call for me to call the Illinois Department of Corrections relevant to medical denial.
Mark A. Clements