To the Editor:
This letter is long overdue, but it needs to be written – and I would like to thank Ted McCarron for providing the impetus to do so.
Thank you, Richard Schmack, for having the courage to step out of the prosecutor’s usual role of seeking convictions and into the prosecutor’s proper role of seeking justice.
Like McCarron, I am outraged; I am outraged that people such as McCarron persist in referring to Jack McCullough’s “conviction” when the proper term would be “wrongful conviction followed by exoneration.”
It was always obvious to even a casual observer that Clay Campbell’s persecutions of McCullough (and no, I didn’t mean to say prosecutions) were nothing more than an election stunt, and that the judge and investigators seem to have been seduced by the thought of having their names associated with “the oldest cold-case conviction in history.”
The fact that decades after the supposed event McCullough’s sister (who obviously had hard feelings toward him) “remembered” that their mother, dying and medicated, said something that could be construed as implicating McCullough in a crime that had happened even more decades before the alleged utterance, and this was admitted as evidence, while U.S. government records were dismissed as hearsay, is ludicrous.
I would point out to McCarron that what McCullough’s family may have believed, and what Campbell conned the Ridulph family into believing, are immaterial. What matters is evidence.
And the “flimsy piece of evidence” McCarron refers to in fact corroborated the government evidence that was disallowed. It has been proved that it was physically impossible for McCullough to have committed the crime; he was somewhere else at the time. This is fact.
McCarron states that Schmack released McCullough to “flip the bird” at Campbell (who himself extended said digit to Judge Robbin Stuckert in a fit of pique over her dismissal of his untenable rape charge against McCullough by trying to disrupt the drug court); I would suggest McCarron familiarize himself with the workings of our justice system. As a prosecutor Schmack could not release anybody; he presented the evidence to a judge, who ruled, based on the facts, that McCullough was wrongfully convicted.
Mr. McCarron’s rant was based not in fact, but in partisan attack on an honest public servant.
Thank you again, Mr. Schmack, for your role in removing this stain from the name of DeKalb County.