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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Morton’

State bar grievance filed against Paxton

It’s getting to be hard to keep track of all of the complaints and legal actions being filed against the man who would be the state’s top lawyer. This one is a grievance filed with the State Bar of Texas by another watchdog group. In its grievance, the Austin-based Texas Coalition on Lawyer Accountability requests […]

Palau catches a little heat for hiring John Bradley

Hilarious. The president of Palau has defended appointing a US lawyer who left his previous role as Texas county prosecutor amid controversy over an innocent man who spent almost 25 years behind bars. President Tommy Remengesau confirmed former Williamson County district attorney John Bradley would take up a position as assistant attorney general in the […]

John Bradley’s second act

Lisa Falkenberg brings a fascinating and unexpected update to the story of John Bradley, the former Williamson County DA and Texas Forensic Science Commissioner who served as one of the main villains in the Michael Morton case. Since losing elected office, Bradley has tried to find work. In 2012, I wrote about him applying to […]

Some things are worth paying more for

How much would you pay for fewer faulty convictions? Prosecutors say the state’s new Michael Morton Act, a measure designed to prevent wrongful convictions by forcing district attorneys to be more transparent in criminal cases, is driving up evidence costs. “That is an issue for a lot of folks,” said Rob Kepple, executive director for […]

Charles Sebesta needs to be held accountable

Amen to this. Former Texas death row inmate Anthony Graves, who spent 18 years behind bars before he was exonerated in the bloody 1992 slaying of a Somerville grandmother, her daughter and four grandchildren, is seeking justice against the man who put him there. In 2006, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Graves’ […]

We need a Conviction Integrity Unit in Harris County

From the DMN: Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins has gained a national reputation for spearheading prisoner exonerations. As he prepares to seek a third term, Watkins said Thursday he wants to expand on that role and add a few others. … Watkins, a Democrat who was first elected in 2006, gained attention for using […]

Ken Anderson accepts a plea deal

Some closure in the Michael Morton case. Former Williamson County State District Judge Ken Anderson, who oversaw the wrongful murder conviction of Michael Morton as a prosecutor, was sentenced to nine days in jail on Friday and will surrender his law license as part of a deal to resolve criminal charges and a civil lawsuit. […]

State Bar seeks sanctions against Ken Anderson

Seems reasonable to me. Arguing that a trial is no longer needed, the State Bar of Texas has asked a judge to summarily rule that former Williamson County District Attorney Ken Anderson engaged in professional misconduct by hiding evidence in the murder trial of Michael Morton, who was exonerated after spending almost 25 years in […]

Michael Morton Act signed into law

Excellent news. With exoneree Michael Morton by his side, Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday signed a measure that aims to avoid wrongful convictions by preventing prosecutors from suppressing evidence. “This is a major victory for integrity and fairness in our judicial system,” Perry said of Senate Bill 1611, which was named for Morton, who spent […]

Court of inquiry issues arrest warrant for Ken Anderson

Wow. A judge issued an arrest warrant for former Williamson County District Attorney Ken Anderson Friday, after finding probable cause to believe Anderson withheld critical evidence in Michael Morton’s 1987 murder trial. Judge Louis Sturns concluded his court of inquiry by charging Anderson, who is now a state district judge, with tampering with government records […]

Court of inquiry concludes

The court of inquiry that was examining the behavior of then-prosecutor Ken Anderson has concluded with Anderson’s testimony in his defense. Having seen what he had to say for himself, I find myself not terribly sympathetic to him or his situation. At times fighting back tears, Anderson called Morton’s case his “worst nightmare” but defended […]

The court of inquiry

Going on this week is a court of inquiry in the matter of Williamson County Judge Ken Anderson, who was the District Attorney that won a conviction against Michael Morton for the murder of his wife, Christine, which as we know has since been overturned after DNA evidence cleared him and implicated another man. The […]

In praise of CODIS

We’re catching more crooks thanks to DNA. Not exactly an earth-shattering revelation, but it’s always nice to have some numbers. The number of Texas crimes solved after a suspect’s DNA matched with offenders’ DNA samples stored in the national repository known as CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) recently passed the 10,000th mark. The state averaged […]

Beating Bradley

The Statesman writes about the aftermath of the GOP primary for District Attorney in Williamseon County where voters resoundingly threw out John Bradley. Michael Morton wasn’t on the ballot, didn’t campaign and didn’t back a candidate, but the recently exonerated former inmate cast a long shadow on the Williamson County district attorney race, becoming the […]

“Open letter to Williamson County”

John Raley is the attorney who worked for years to exonerate Michael Morton on the charge of murdering his wife in 1987. The key to the case was a bloody bandana, which DNA testing showed belonged to the real killer. Williamson County DA John Bradley fought against allowing the DNA test to proceed at every […]

Court of inquiry appointed in Morton case

Maybe now we’ll get some answers. A special court will examine whether Georgetown District Judge Ken Anderson acted improperly when, as Williamson County’s district attorney in 1987, he prosecuted Michael Morton for a murder the authorities now acknowledge he did not commit. Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson convened a court of inquiry Thursday […]

Court of inquiry recommended in Morton case

Good. Former Williamson County District Attorney Ken Anderson should face a court of inquiry to examine allegations that he hid evidence that could have spared Michael Morton from a wrongful murder conviction and almost 25 years in prison, a state district judge ruled Friday. The finding means District Judge Sid Harle found probable cause to […]

“Beyond DNA”

The Dallas Observer has a good story about the state of the exoneration business now that most of the cases involving DNA have been handled. Since Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins took office in 2007, incidents of wrongfully convicted men being released from Texas prisons have become almost commonplace. Dramatic scenes of innocent men […]

Grievances filed over Morton case

Interesting. The Texas Coalition on Lawyer Accountability (TCLA) announced that its Executive Director, Julie Oliver, is today filing disciplinary grievances against prosecutors in the Michael Morton case: current Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley; former Williamson County District Attorney (and current District Judge) Ken Anderson; former Williamson County Assistant District Attorney Mike Davis. Published reports […]

It’s a long way to Damascus

The Trib has a good story about Williamson County DA John Bradley, whom you may recall as Rick Perry’s chief hatchet man on the Forensic Science Commission, and his apparent conversion to open-mindedness in the wake of the DNA exoneration of Michael Morton, who was convicted of murdering his wife in 1987 by Bradley’s predecessor […]

Investigating the DA

There may be something interesting going on in the grand jury room. A Houston grand jury apparently investigating recent allegations about the Houston Police Department’s troubled mobile alcohol-testing vehicles may now be setting its sights on the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. An appellate court ruled on Thursday that the grand jury can continue to […]