Governor Quinn appoints Professor Daniel T. Coyne to the Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Daniel T. Coyne, clinical professor of law at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, has been appointed by Governor Pat Quinn to the newly formed Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission. The commission is charged with conducting inquiries into claims of torture on behalf of persons convicted of a felony in Illinois based on a tortured confession instigated by former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge or an officer under his supervision. The group will then submit recommendations on which claims should be prosecuted.

Daniel T. Coyne, Clinical Professor of Law
Daniel T. Coyne, Clinical Professor of Law

The eight-member commission was created last year as a result of legislation sponsored by State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-13) to provide due process for scores of people allegedly tortured by Burge and his subordinates between 1972 and 1991.

Professor Coyne, a member of the Chicago-Kent Law Offices faculty since 2005, maintains a clinical practice concentrating on criminal defense and sexually violent persons' civil commitment proceedings. Teaching as well as practicing, he also was responsible for the development and implementation of Chicago-Kent's criminal law J.D. certificate program. In 2007, the Student Bar Association selected Professor Coyne as its faculty member of the year.

Prior to joining Chicago-Kent, Professor Coyne spent more than 20 years in private practice devoted to state and federal criminal defense litigation, with an emphasis on homicide cases. Since the mid-1980s, he has worked through BE-HIV and the Chicago Center for Assisted Living to provide pro-bono representation of indigent people with HIV and AIDS charged in criminal cases. In March of 2002, Professor Coyne was named one of Chicago Magazine's "Thirty Tough Lawyers," described as "men and women who give lawyers a good name—and their clients a winning edge."

Professor Coyne served as president of the Chicago Council of Lawyers from 2007 to 2009. He has served as a member of its Board of Governors since 1997. As a chair of the Council's Bond Court Review committee, he oversaw a 2007 study of the bond court process at the Cook County felony court at 26th and California. The committee proposed a restructuring of the process that has been accepted by the Cook County Circuit Court and scheduled for implementation. Professor Coyne has also chaired the council's judicial evaluation committee, which investigated more than 200 applicants for associate judgeships and made appointment recommendations. He is a member of the advisory committee for the Chicago Appleseed Fund/CCL review of the administration of justice in Cook County. He currently chairs the council's criminal justice committee.

A native Chicagoan, Professor Coyne is a graduate of Gordon Technical High School. He served six years in the United States Navy. Professor Coyne earned his bachelor's degree in criminal justice from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1980 and his law degree from the John Marshall Law School in 1984.

Chicago-Kent College of Law is the law school of Illinois Institute of Technology, a private, Ph.D.-granting institution. The Law Offices at Chicago-Kent is a teaching law firm with a dual mission: to provide high-quality clinical education to over 150 student interns and externs who enroll each semester; and to deliver outstanding legal services to its clients. A unique aspect of the Law Office's in-house clinical program is its fee-generating model in which experienced and highly competent lawyers deliver competitively priced legal services.