Unmaking a Murderer: The Prosecutor’s Duty to Remedy Wrongful Convictions
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This Article will discuss the obligations and duties of a prosecutor in reviewing post-conviction claims of actual innocence in the context of the DeKalb County case of People v. Jack McCullough. In my role as State’s Attorney, the chief prosecutor, I was required to formulate a response to the Defendant’s claim of innocence. Ultimately, I reached the conclusion that he was innocent of the crime for which he had been convicted, and thereafter proactively participated in his exoneration. This Article will begin with a general discussion of the principles which apply to a prosecutor’s assessment of claims of actual innocence, and of evidence of innocence which may come to the prosecutor’s attention in the absence of a pending petition. The Article will then move on to a summary of the facts of the McCullough case, and conclude with my assessment of how those rules governed my ultimate conclusion of innocence and the disposition of the case.