To the editor:
After rereading my article “The Shocking Truth” (January 10), I realized that I had committed a serious sin of omission. In a list of people who had stuck their necks out in the interest of justice, I left out Dr. Robert Kirschner. Kirschner was deputy chief medical examiner of Cook County when he testified in Andrew Wilson’s civil rights trial in 1989. As a forensic pathologist employed by the county, he spent a good portion of his time working with policemen and testifying for the state, and yet he did not hesitate to testify on behalf of a convicted cop killer when he thought the physical evidence clearly showed that that killer had been tortured. As Kirschner’s resume also included a long history of involvement in human rights investigations in various foreign countries, his opinion was of great significance.
It is rare that someone who sees torture abroad can also see it clearly at home. Kirschner can and did, and I apologize for failing to accord him the honor he deserved.