Photo: Chicago Sun-Times
See our recent post on this case here.
An Illinois judge has freed Jack McCullough from prison, and ordered a new trial. Jack was convicted in 2012 of the 1957 abduction and murder of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph in Sycamore, IL. Jack was a neighbor of the Ridulph’s at the time. This used to be called the coldest case ever “solved.” And I guess we can now call it an “exoneration,” since the prosecutor has indicated his intention to have the charges against Jack dismissed with prejudice; meaning Jack can never be brought back into court for this crime again.
CNN just published an article that includes an interview with Jack. This very insightful comment from that interview:
“People have to realize, it’s not about winning. It’s about justice. And this brave man — I probably shouldn’t talk about him at all — but he put his career on the line for me,” McCullough said. He thought a moment and carefully chose the words that followed:
“It isn’t about winning a case, it’s about justice. And God bless the man who stood up for justice. He’s probably going to pay a penalty for that because to everyone else it’s about winning. But it’s not about winning. It’s about doing the right thing.”
Let me add the editorial note that this is where politically ambitious, politically elected prosecutors get it wrong. It’s not supposed to be about “winning.” It’s supposed to be about seeing that justice is done. But … winning is much more important for your political record than is providing true justice. The prosecutor in this case is a rare and marvelous exception to that rule.
See the CNN story with the interview here.
Root Cause Analysis = State’s Attorney Clay Campbell is an unethical hack who prosecuted the 2012 case. The Illinois State Bar should step up, re-examine the previous cases that Campbell orchestrated, and disbar this guy. Campbell’s name should be synonymous with Nifong.
Back in 2007, when the Duke/Nifong false allegation case hit the 24/7 media and the public would begin to hear “prosecutorial misconduct” for the first time, we would hear Nifong was a “rogue” prosecutor! Since then, “rogue” was misapplied and should have said “SOP” standard operating procedure by prosecutors. Time the to take away “absolute immunity” for prosecutors. Those responsible for false allegations and wrongful convictions should be charged with a felony, then we would see these cases evaporate.
This case is just another example of how difficult it is to get a fair trial in the USA. Juries are obviously coming to the wrong conclusion in some cases. Therefor our juries must not be getting exposed to the right types of facts and evidence. The ability to determine actual guilt is the bedrock foundation of any legitimate society. Our jurisprudence and legal standards has devolved explaining the FALSE POSITIVES. Trial rules must change.
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