Vanessa del Valle, clinical assistant professor of law at the MacArthur Justice Center at the Bluhm Legal Clinic, has been appointed by Governor J.B. Pritzker to the State of Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission (TIRC). She was confirmed by the Illinois State Senate to the position in March.
The TIRC—chaired by retired circuit court judge Kathleen Pantle—is authorized by state law to gather evidence about claims of torture occurring in Cook County, and to determine whether there is sufficient credible evidence of torture to merit judicial review. The Commission was signed into law in 2009 after a decades-long campaign against former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge and his alleged abusive unit of officers, who were accused of torture tactics during their reign in the ‘80s and ‘90s.
“I am honored to serve on the Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission and look forward to helping those who have credible claims of torture seek justice,” says del Valle. She has taken on the role of Alternate Commissioner.
Del Valle has been with the MacArthur Justice Center since 2015. Her work focuses on enforcing the civil rights of individuals involved with the criminal justice system. She represents victims of police misconduct and prisoners in Illinois correctional facilities, and community organizations seeking to end abusive policing tactics. She has also litigated suits to address issues facing immigrant communities. Prior to her work with MacArthur, del Valle was Judicial Law Clerk at the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. She has been recognized and received a number of honors and awards for her work. Del Valle earned a Bachelor of Arts from Yale University and Juris Doctor from Stanford Law School.