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Former DeKalb County State's Attorney To Be Honored For McCullough Casework

The American Bar Association will honor former DeKalb County State's Attorney Richard Schmack for his post-conviction work on the Jack McCullough case.

McCullough was convicted in 2012 for the 1957 murder of Sycamore resident Maria Ridulph. At the time, it was America's longest lasting cold case. However, Schmack re-examined the evidence and found phone records showing that McCullough was in Rockford at the time of the crime.

A long series of hearings in the DeKalb County Courthouse eventually led to a vacated conviction and Certificate of Innocence for McCullough. Schmack was ousted from his position in the 2016 elections by opponent Rick Amato.

Schmack will receive the Norm Maleng Minister of Justice Award this fall. The ABA says the award recognizes prosecutors who embody certain principles, especially the duty to "seek justice, not merely to convict."  

Schmack is semi-retired and working in private practice.  

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