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Verbal Arguments Held In McCullough Appeal

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Defense attorneys say there was not enough evidence to send Jack McCullough to prison. McCullough was sentenced in 2012 to life behind bars for the 1957 kidnapping and murder of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph of Sycamore. It was believed to be the nation's oldest cold case.  

An Illinois appeals court panel heard oral arguments Wednesday.

State Appellate Defender Paul Glaser says many of the questions involved evidence surrounding the case. He admits it is an extremely rare situation.

"Concepts like proof beyond a reasonable doubt, like due process, like fundamental fairness -- they still apply whether they happened last century or last week." -- Appellate Defender Paul Glaser

He said it could take more than a month to get a decision. The court could rule a number of ways, he explained.

"We are, of course, hoping most of all for an outright reversal to reverse the judgment entirely. If they should decide to grant a new trial, that would be a different situation.

"We asked for a new trial as well as an alternative remedy here," Glaser said. "We really have to wait and see because what the court is going to do, they act and we react."

Jenna Dooley has spent her professional career in public radio. She is a graduate of Northern Illinois University and the Public Affairs Reporting Program at the University of Illinois - Springfield. She returned to Northern Public Radio in DeKalb after several years hosting Morning Edition at WUIS-FM in Springfield. She is a former "Newsfinder of the Year" from the Illinois Associated Press and recipient of NIU's Donald R. Grubb Journalism Alumni Award. She is an active member of the Illinois News Broadcasters Association and an adjunct instructor at NIU.
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