Just before daybreak in Chicago, a terrified taxi driver ran naked down an alley, fleeing two assailants who had stolen his cab, money and clothes.
Willie McDougle managed only a few steps before a blast from a sawed-off shotgun tore into the back of his right thigh, causing a gaping wound. While he survived, his right leg was amputated above the knee. It was Sept. 29, 1974.
Thirty-five years later, Andrew Burdine, who shot McDougle, is on parole. His accomplice, Jerico Smalley, remains in the Illinois prison system. Smalley's last 12 years have been served in solitary confinement at the supermax Tamms Correctional Center in Alexander County near the Kentucky border.
While the shooter, Burdine, has been free since 2004, Smalley may spend the rest of his life in Tamms because of repeated aberrant behavior in prison that could be attributed to untreated mental illness, a primary concern of prison reform activists. They contend that Smalley spending more than a decade in solitary amounts to torture.
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