It’s pretty clear that a good deal of people in Williamson County are expecting significant changes throughout the justice system with the election of Jana Duty as District Attorney to replace John Bradley. So it’s not a surprise that there will be significant staff changes in the District Attorney’s office, Next Williamson County DA already shaking up staff.
Newly elected Williamson County District Attorney Jana Duty won’t take office until January, but she already has told 10 office employees — a third of the staff — that their services will no longer be needed.
Five prosecutors, an investigator, a court coordinator, an executive assistant, a receptionist and a forensics specialist were told they wouldn’t have a job as of Jan. 1, and the victim services director also resigned.
Duty said she didn’t want to keep some of the prosecutors because they were “indoctrinated in the John Bradley school of thought,” what she called a closed-file policy under which defense attorneys weren’t allowed to see the evidence against their clients until shortly before trial.
Bradley, the district attorney who lost to Duty in a bitter Republican primary in May, described those let go as “good and professional employees” and said Duty was “blinded by her political hatred.”
Several prosecutors said they had already announced their intention to leave the office at the end of the year, and prosecutors Jana McCown and Lindsey Roberts each sent Duty a letter this week calling her statements to the American-Statesman untrue and threatening possible litigation, saying Duty’s claims could damage their reputations.
Bradley said he has had an open file policy for trial cases since taking office, adding, “We expanded that policy to all cases about a year ago.”
Duty said the reasons for the other planned terminations departures in the office varied. “Some people were rude. Some are unprofessional. Some I do not trust.”
People were given notice this month so they would have time to look for other jobs, Duty said. “It is a big turnover, but that office is in need of being shaken up a little bit,” she said.
Duty said she plans to be fully staffed by Jan. 1. The office typically includes 12 prosecutors, the district attorney, five investigators, three victim/witness coordinators and nine support staffers.
“It’s not unusual to have a lot of changes early on,” when a new district attorney takes office, said Rob Kepple, executive director of the Texas District and County Attorneys Association. “Everybody gets to set their office up and get the people in that they want.”
But it’s not just the people that need to be cleaned out, it’s the old way of “doin’ bidness” in the DA’s office that must also change. I’ve long held that many of the problems with the justice system in Williamson County have to do with the county’s rapid growth. The county can no longer be run like it’s Hazzard County, it’s time to grow up. These excerpts from the comments to the article above highlight what’s expected:
I voted for Duty because she has made a reputation of making alot of the esablishment angry and I hope she continues to do so.
Shake and Bake, good for you and the county.maybe NOW there will be Justice in Williamson county.
Duty has every right to clean house entirely if she wants to and start all over. It’s her responsibility now and she will be held accountable by the voters. She had better produce along the lines of those who elected her.
Great news for Williamson County! Finally we may start to see fair, consistent justice in this county.
..under John Bradley I’ve seen people screwed over for things they never committed, all based on what officers say to the DA’s office. It’s all about making it look like you are tough on crime, but as Bradley showed with the Michael Morton case, he just does NOT give a sh*t about the people..
Similar to what President Obama face in his first term – trying to fix the long festering problems of his predecessor – that’s what Duty is facing. Williamson County and John Bradley’s unfair and unequal justice over the years, is what was voted out on election day. Voters are expecting progress to a more rational, fair and equal justice system. If Duty can deliver on that mandate it will be a welcomed change.
It was a GOP sweep in Williamson County. Congratulations to the winners and we certainly hope that Jana Duty will bring a culture change to the Williamson County District Attorney’s office and that Tony Dale will legislates like he’s in a district where 43% of his constituents voted against him.
President Barack Obama won reelection with over 300 votes in the Electoral College and right now and close to a 2 percentage point lead in the popular vote. Congratulations to the President and Vice President Joe Biden. The Democrats also picked up seats in the US Senate and it appears pick up a handful of seats in the US House, while the GOP keeps the majority. [See results here].
In Texas it’s a mixed bag. Democrats were still unable to win a statewide race, and were swept in the 3rd Court of Appeals races. But it looks like Democrats will pick up 7 seats in the Texas House, and hold there number at 12 in the Texas Senate, which means Sen. Wendy Davis held her seat District 10. Also the Democrats picked up 1 seat in the Texas delegation in the US House. More from Kuff, 2012 election results.
It looks like judge Ken Anderson, better known now as the Williamson County DA in the Michael Morton case, is facing serious disciplinary actions for his prosecution in that case. At issue since the details of this case and Morton’s release after 25 years in prison, has always been whether Anderson’s actions in the case were because of incompetence of were intentional. The Texas Tribune also has the stroy, State Bar Seeks Disciplinary Action Against Anderson
On the one-year anniversary of Michael Morton’s release from prison, the State Bar of Texas filed a disciplinary case against the prosecutor who secured his wrongful murder conviction. The lawyer oversight agency alleges that former Williamson County District Attorney Ken Anderson — now a state district judge — deliberately withheld evidence and made false statements to the court during Morton’s 1987 trial.
Anderson, who was appointed to the bench by Gov. Rick Perry in 2002 and who the State Bar named “Prosecutor of the Year” in 1995, is facing civil and criminal legal action and could be disbarred if he is found to have violated professional rules of conduct in securing the wrongful conviction. Morton was sentenced to life and spent nearly 25 years in prison for the August 1986 murder of his wife Christine Morton.
During their investigation, Morton’s lawyers, John Raley, of the Houston law firm Raley & Bowick, along with Barry Scheck and Nina Morrison of the New York-based Innocence Project, discovered evidence that they allege Anderson deliberately withheld from defense lawyers and from the judge in the case.
Among those items was a transcript of a phone call in which Morton’s mother-in-law recounted to police a conversation with her 3-year-old grandson, who said he saw a “monster” beat his mother to death. He said Morton, his father, was not at home when the beating happened. Defense lawyers also found a report that Christine Morton’s credit card had been used in San Antonio days after her murder. And they found reports from neighbors who told police that they saw a man in a green van park near the Mortons’ home several times before the crime.
The State Bar conducted a 10-month investigation after a grievance was filed against Anderson in the case. The State Bar’s Commission for Lawyer Discipline wrote in its court filing that Anderson knew of the evidence and withheld it. The filing also alleges that Anderson made a false statement to the court when he told the judge he had no evidence that could be favorable to Morton’s claims of innocence.
His conduct, the State Bar commission wrote, violated five of the state’s Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct.
The full petition can be read here. It seems pretty clear that Anderson withheld evidence favorable to Morton and he also made a false statement during a pre-trial hearing. Here’s what Anderson if facing if found to have committed professional misconduct.
Anderson is expected to file a response to the lawsuit by Nov. 5. He can choose between a civil jury trial or a bench trial in which a judge will hear the case. If Anderson’s conduct is found to constitute professional misconduct, the judge will impose sanctions, which could include a public reprimand, probated suspension of his law license, active suspension of his law license, or disbarment. The judge could also force Anderson to pay the attorneys’ fees of the State Bar commission.
If he’s found guilty he should have the book thrown at him. Intentionally taking away 25 years of a man’s life for a crime he did not commit, means Anderson should be booted from the legal profession.
Outgoing Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley is being considered to lead the state’s Special Prosecution Unit, which prosecutes crimes committed in state prisons and juvenile detention facilities and is in charge of civil commitments of sexual predators.
Grits won’t say “good luck” because I’m not sure I want him to get the gig. Though it might be interesting to see John Bradley in a job which calls on him to treat convicted felons with the deference prosecutors normally afford victims, one imagines the other candidates likely offer less politicized options. OTOH, there are places he could land where he could do far more damage, just in case his road to Damascus conversion doesn’t stick. Heck, I’d half-feared Gov. Perry would name him head of his Criminal Justice Division. So I’ve got mixed feelings about this prospect, though I’m sure Grits readers have strong opinions on the subject.
Who’s going to show up? That’s the question everyone will be trying to answer from now until the May 29th primary, now that Rick Santorum has dropped his bid for the GOP nomination for President. As far as the overall race for the GOP Presidential nomination goes, little has changed. Despite the Texas GOP’s possible rules change, even if Santorum stayed in the race and won Texas, Rommey was still likely be the GOP nominee. What it does effect is all the other races on the ballot in Texas.
Turnout in a presidential year primary with the race still up in the air, can be very high. With the main event over and done with, and the primary the day after a 3-day weekend, turnout is likely to be much lower than it otherwise would have been. The biggest race left on the ballot is the US Senate race to replace Kay Bailey Hutchison. Here’s one take from the traditional media on what Santorum’s exit does to the GOP race to replay Hutchison,Santorum exit probably helps Dewhurst’s Senate foes, but which?
Rick Santorum’s suspension of his campaign may further depress turnout in next month’s Senate GOP primary, as what little sizzle remained in the contest for the Republican presidential nomination just took a blast of cold water.
The Texas battle to succeed retiring U.S. Kay Bailey Hutchison already has been postponed twice. The May 29 date bleeds into some people’s graduation and summer vacation plans, and a Mitt Romney-Santorum showdown in the Lone Star State could have perked up voter interest.
No more. Given that lower turnout generally benefits insurgents, not frontrunners, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst probably reaps no benefit from the Santorum move. The most casual Republican voters are probably the most susceptible to Dewhurst’s expected advertising blitz, but now have less reason to turn out. He is leading in the Senate GOP primary, but has to hope that his three main opponents — Ted Cruz, Craig James and Tom Leppert, in alphabetical order — will divide the opposition. Because even when held in more voter-friendly March, Senate GOP primaries pull between 600,000 and 650,000 voters to the polls in Texas in non-presidential years.
But what are the implications locally, especially in the GOP Primary for District Attorney? While it may be true that lower turnout reduces the advantage of money, it’s also true that win numbers – total votes needed to win a race – change as well. With both Bradley and Duty having name ID and “notoriety” among the GOP base in Williamson County it looks now like whoever can turn out more of their voters on primary day will win. Now that the “casual Republican voter” is no longer an issue.
As in 2010 most of the action in the 2012 Primary in Williamson County will be on the Republican side. The main reason is because on the Democratic side there are few contested races. The main contested race on the Democratic side is the US Senate race. [See the full Williamson County Democratic Primary ballot in the extended entry or click here].
On the GOP side the main event is the race for District Attorney. Between incumbent John Bradley and challenger, and current County Attorney, Jana Duty. Just Google their names together and you’ll find posts and articles galore. The way that the race is playing out in the media is over Bradley’s handling of the Michael Morton case and Duty’s critique of his handling of it. (Burka breaks down the race here).
But that is unlikely to be the issue that decides who will run against Democrat Ken Crain in November. What will determine it is if enough voters in Williamson County, unhappy with the current DA, will show up to vote in the primary. Any Democratic candidate that’s run county wide, in the recent past, knows there is a huge hurdle to get over. It’s called Sun City. It’s an area of the county that turns out at at over 90% and votes overwhelmingly Republican.
Therefore to begin to evaluate whether or not Duty has a chance in this race we would need to know how Duty is doing getting votes in Sun City. And after that is how is she doing in identifying her voters and making sure they’ll be to the polls on primary day. If she can’t get close to breaking even in Sun City her task becomes much harder. She will certainly get the anti-incumbent/anti-establishment vote, but that hasn’t been enough in the past to pull anyone through. Whether Democrat in the general election or Republican in the primary.
Maybe this race will be different. And that’s likely what everyone is waiting to see in this race, and possibly in the Precinct 1 County Commissioners race). Are there enough Republicans in Williamson County tired of their current political leadership willing to vote for new leadership. Many in Williamson County would like to see change, and this would be a start. I won’t be surprised either way, but the challengers, as is almost always the case, are fighting a tough uphill battle.
There’s much more information about the primary and the upcoming Williamson County Democratic county convention, (which is April 21st, before the primary this year), at WilcoDemocrats.org.
Because of the numerous court proceedings involving the boundaries set by the Texas State Legislature for the Texas House Districts, Texas Senate Districts, and the U.S. House Districts in Texas, the Texas primary elections that are normally held in March have been rescheduled twice.
The current date set for the primary elections (May 29) makes it impossible for both parties to follow their normal procedures for holding their precinct and county conventions in time for delegates to be selected to represent the county at the parties’ state conventions, both of which will be held June 7-9, 2012.
The Democratic Party’s state convention will be held in Houston on June 7th, 8th and 9th. Delegates for the state convention will be selected at the county convention on April 21st.
Click extended entry to see the ballot for the Democratic Primary.
Dismissing former prosecutor Ken Anderson’s defense as strained, feeble and outrageous, lawyers for Michael Morton renewed calls Wednesday for a special court to examine allegations that Anderson intentionally hid evidence to ensure Morton’s conviction for a murder he did not commit.
Anderson denied any wrongdoing in a strongly worded court brief, filed two weeks ago, that accused Morton’s lawyers of building their accusation around falsehoods, incomplete facts and an incorrect reading of trial records.
Morton’s lawyers accuse Anderson, who was Williamson County’s district attorney for more than 16 years, of hiding five pieces of favorable evidence, including a police interview indicating that the Mortons’ 3-year-old son witnessed his mother’s attack and said his father was not home at the time.
A portion of the police interview was found in Anderson’s trial files last summer.
Morton’s lawyers accuse Anderson of violating of two state laws: tampering with physical evidence, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison that includes concealing “any record or document,” and intentionally concealing a government record, a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.
In addition, Morton’s lawyers said, Anderson should be held in contempt of court, which could result in jail time, for failing to follow trial Judge William Lott’s order to provide all reports and notes compiled by sheriff’s Sgt. Don Wood, the primary investigator in the murder case.
Anderson has said he explicitly followed Lott’s instructions, arguing the judge wanted to see only one Wood report.
Eric Nichols, Anderson’s lawyer, said the new court filing “adds nothing new and merely repeats the same arguments that are based on a fundamentally flawed reading of the trial record.”
It would seem that if Anderson was truly interested in making sure everyone knows there wasn’t “any wrongdoing” in this case he would want an inquiry like this to clear his name.
More via the WilcoSun, Morton lawyers: Anderson’s silence ‘speaks volumes’.
In a 27-page rebuttal, Mr. Morton’s attorneys with the New York-based Innocence Project say the judge fails to address many of the most salient details about his conduct during the Morton trial.
Defense lawyers claimed during and immediately after the 1987 trial that the prosecution was withholding evidence suggesting Mr. Morton might be innocent. Yet Judge Anderson never attempted to explain until this month’s brief why so many police reports weren’t made available to the court, Mr. Morton’s attorneys said.
“Nor do Mr. Anderson’s counsel mention — much less explain — the damning fact that their client effectively stood mute in response to these allegations during 24 years of post-trial proceedings,” the attorneys wrote. “A quarter century later, his silence still speaks volumes.”
The brief from Anderson’s lawyers doesn’t address a statement made by Assistant District Attorney Mike Davis, who told the jury that many reports were withheld from defense attorneys. It doesn’t address defense lawyers’ motion for a new trial, which demanded information about those reports. Judge Anderson “dodged” the issue of withheld evidence during appeals, Mr. Morton’s lawyers said, and that also was not addressed in the brief.
As a result, the need for a court of inquiry to determine if the former district attorney committed criminal misconduct is still very real, Mr. Morton’s attorneys said.
Though Judge Anderson argues the statute of limitations precludes the formation of an inquiry, Mr. Morton’s attorneys say the purpose of the court would be to determine if an offense was committed, not to prosecute the judge.
If the court finds that Judge Anderson did violate the law, that could have important consequences, either through disciplinary action by the State Bar of Texas or at the polls if the judge seeks reelection, Mr. Morton’s attorneys wrote.
“The Court of Inquiry statute thus remains a wholly legitimate vehicle to investigate and pursue probable violations of this State’s criminal laws,” the attorneys said in their brief. “And it remains particularly appropriate in cases where, as here, the target of the inquiry is a public official whose misconduct might otherwise evade investigation.”
The sooner everyone that was responsible for keeping Michael Morton behind bars for 25 years for a crime he did not commit comes clean, the better it will be for everyone.
TT: For you, what is the most tragic moment of Michael Morton’s story?
Raley: They took Eric out of his arms and cuffed him and led him away. And he remembers Eric screaming, “Daddy! Daddy!” as he’s taken away from his son. He lost his wife, his love of his life, his college sweetheart. They were going to have this wonderful life together with their son and it all ended when “the monster” came in the house and then Michael was framed for a murder he didn’t commit.
TT: How did the fight with Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley over DNA testing begin?
Raley: I remember, prior to filing the motion, calling Mr. Bradley — based on the advice of my father, who’s a retired prosecutor — just to see if he would agree to the motion. He said it would “muddy the waters.” I’ve never forgotten that, and I didn’t really understand what he meant. And I said, “Mr. Bradley, truth clarifies.”
TT: Did either of you ever consider giving up?
Raley: A really important conversation for me was a little over two years ago when Michael said that he understood that he would be paroled if he only showed remorse for his crime. And I said, “What are you going to do?” I didn’t feel like I could advise him on that because, I mean, you know [it had been] 23 years now. I don’t think anybody would have blamed him if he said, “I’m really sorry, let me go.”
But Michael is a man of great integrity, and he would not lie to get out of prison.
And he said, “All I have left is my actual innocence, and if I have to be in prison the rest of my life, I’m not giving that up.” And when he said that I just felt this rush of emotion. And I said, “Michael, I promise you, I will never quit.”
TT: Following Morton’s release you investigated former prosecutor Ken Anderson. Why?
Raley: I think it’s important to understand that Michael Morton, in order to get this investigation done, would have been willing to stay in prison another five months after having being in for 25 years. It was that important to him to find out what happened and try to prevent it from happening to someone else.
TT: What was Morton’s response to your discovery of the allegedly suppressed evidence?
Raley: Michael is a very thoughtful, contemplative, reflective guy. He has a way of pausing to let things kind of be absorbed. I remember when I called to tell him about the DNA hit. There was silence on other end of the line. I said, “Michael, are you there?” I was afraid he might have fainted or something. He said, “I’m here. I’m just letting this soak in.” Twenty-five years he’d been waiting.
The action in the race for District Attorney in Williamson County right now is playing out on the GOP side. Whenever the primary is over, the big question will be what will the losers supporters do? There is much to lose and much to gain on both sides. Current DA John Bradley, like Texas Gov. Rick Perry, is the epitome of an entrenched incumbent. His “people” are, more than likely, spread out all through Williamson County government, not just the DA’s office. And his loss would have far reaching effects.
Also, it seems for the Williamson County Commissioners Court (WCCC) that this is an opportunity they’ve been waiting for. If Jana Duty loses in the primary, no matter what, come January 2013 she will no longer be a part of Williamson County government. So for them it is certainly the best shot they’ve had to get rid of their nemesis. And for Duty it’s a chance to move up, take out a tyrannical DA, and continue to be a thorn in the WCCC’s side.
There certainly appears to be a schism in the GOP in Williamson County. And it’s appears to be along the lines of entrenched power on one side and those that want a change on the other side. With entrenched power comes arrogance, and a sense of entitlement. The question becomes, are there enough disaffected reliable GOP voters in Williamson County to vote out an incumbent? Conservatism is about keeping the status quo. And for that reason it would seem Bradley, despite his disastrous record in the Morton case, still has a chance.
Recently the rank and file of the local police and sheriffs groups began lining up in support of Duty. It would certainly be interesting to know where there bosses – chiefs of police, and the county sheriff stand. It’s likely they would go with Bradley, if pressed. Here’s a little bit about a recent endorsement from the WCS, Sheriff’s Association endorses Duty.
County Attorney Jana Duty has received the endorsement of the Williamson County Sheriff’s Association in her bid to replace District Attorney John Bradley.
In a press release, association president Ron Cole said the group chose Mr. Duty because of her commitment to seeking justice and her track record as county attorney.
“Jana as the county attorney has assembled an outstanding staff that fights for the rights of victims by prosecuting cases seeking justice,” Mr. Cole said in the press release. “Her concern and dedication to protecting victims of crime has been a credit to herself and her staff. Jana understands that without truth there is no justice.”
However, Mr. Bradley said he wasn’t allowed to make a presentation about his qualifications and that Mr. Cole told him the association endorsed Ms. Duty because she promised to lobby the commissioners court for “civil service and unionization.”
Neither Ms. Duty nor Mr. Cole returned calls on Friday.
“Essentially, they are taking on Jana Duty to lobby with the commissioners,” Mr. Bradley said Friday. “But what is her relationship with the commissioners right now? Is it super? It seems if they were looking for a lobbyist, they could have picked a better one.”
Mr. Cole, who spoke with the Sun on Thursday, declined to comment on why the group chose to endorse Ms. Duty.
He said the association’s board, which consists of five elected officers, approved the endorsement with four voting for Ms. Duty and one abstaining. He would not reveal the names of the board members, but said they are elected by the approximately 170 members of the association.
There are no bylaws of the association related to endorsements, Mr. Cole said.
The Democrat in the race Ken Crain also was not interviewed by the association.
The association also did not contact Georgetown attorney Ken Crain, who has filed to run for district attorney as a Democrat.
Every election year, groups make endorsements without actually interviewing all the candidates, and the press writes about them without questioning the group’s leadership, Mr. Crain said.
“I think this is a very phony endorsement that is intended to mislead the public,” Mr. Crain said in an email. “If an organization was truly about the goal of encouraging and promoting Williamson County Justice, wouldn’t you think the organization would want to hear from all the candidates for an office before they endorsed one of the candidates for the office?”
Mr. Adkins said he would welcome all of the association’s members showing up to the monthly meetings and helping with choosing what candidate to endorse, but that doesn’t happen.
When candidates seek an endorsement, the board does the best job it can to represent their members’ interests, he said.
It’s possible they will reassess after the primary. And those comments by Adkins makes it seem like this is not a very active group. That being said, it would be best for the some sort of a union,or a civil service designation, be implemented for at least the sheriff’s office, if not all county employees. But this is not something that’s likely to play out in a GOP primary, or be implemented by A GOP commissioners court. Where any candidate that even hints at union support is taking a huge risk. Especially since they have one in Travis County.
It would certainly be a huge blow to John Bradley’s pride, and the WCCC, if Duty was to win the primary. But where would the establishment/entrenched power’s support go? Would they support Crain? Or would they try and make nice with Duty? If Duty loese where do her supporters go? And entwined in this as well is who will replace Duty as County Attorney. One of Duty’s assistants is garnering the same endorsements as Duty, but there are two other candidates in the GOP primary.
What this means is that the candidate that wins the right to run against Ken Crain in November may well be determined more on the infighting and grudges inside the Republican party in Williamson County, then it will on the issues of truth and justice.
This is not surprising, Bar dismisses Bradley complaint in Morton case. The State Bar of Texas was never likely to take action against Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley. Recent history tells us that it’s very hard to prove that a judge or a persecutor, “..engaged in misconduct and violated ethics rules in his handling of the Michael Morton case”.
What Bradley did in respect to the Morton case was certainly immoral. Whether he did anything illegal (against the law) or unethical (against his oath) may never be proven. At least in the near-term if Bradley is going to be held accountable it will be at the ballot box.
“A lot of people think I want a pound of flesh,” said Michael Morton, who was freed after new DNA evidence tied another man to the crime. “Revenge is a natural instinct, but it’s not what I’m looking for here, just accountability.” [LINK]
Michael Morton completed one leg of his legal journey Monday when a judge formally dismissed his murder charge, declaring him innocent of the crime that cost him almost 25 years in prison.
But District Judge Sid Harle delayed a decision on Morton’s second request: that a special court examine allegations that his prosecutor, Ken Anderson, broke several laws by concealing evidence before, during and after Morton’s trial.
Harle said he needed more time to review the request to convene a court of inquiry, an ad hoc, fact-finding process often used when the actions of a public official have been called into question.
A decision is not expected before year’s end because Harle also offered Anderson, now a Georgetown district judge who has repeatedly denied allegations of misconduct in Morton’s 1987 trial, a chance to file briefs opposing the inquiry.
All Michael Morton wants is justice and accountability, which isn’t much to ask for all he’s been through.
But Harle’s signature Monday on the motion to dismiss charges formally released Morton from the murder case and brought the hearing to a close with a standing ovation from a packed courtroom.
“What befell you and your family many years ago was a horrendous tragedy,” Harle said, commending Morton for never giving up his fight for innocence, even when he was offered a chance at parole if he accepted responsibility for his wife’s murder.
“Mr. Morton, you and your family are frankly an inspiration to me,” Harle said.
Facing a crowd of reporters and cameras after the hearing, Morton sought to balance competing emotions.
“This is a happy day for me, obviously, but let’s not forget that this was a horrible crime,” Morton said, noting that his wife had been savagely beaten. In addition to losing 25 years, he said, “I lost all of my son’s youth; he’s 28 now.”
Morton also said he was not out for “a pound of flesh” with his request for the inquiry.
“Revenge is a natural instinct, but it’s not my goal here,” he said. “I hope through all this we get a little something. We get some reform, some change. Just balance the books … level the playing field. We don’t want the prosecutors to do anything special, but just to obey the law.”
The simplest way to state the wrong that was done to Michael Morton is that the evidence that exonerated him was available when he was convicted, and all through the 25 years he was incarcerated. It just wasn’t looked at until 2011. As soon as all the evidence was looked at and investigated it became clear he did not murder Christine Morton. He was then released from jail, and has now been declared innocent of the crime he was convicted of committing.
The only thing left to determine is whether all of this evidence was withheld all these years because of malice or ineptitude. Either way most, if not all citizens, should agree that those involved with keeping Michael Morton deserve to be held accountable.