An interesting read from The Wilco Watchdog, Tough On Crime or Win At All Cost? The Past Often Dictates The Future. Here’s the introduction.
A discovery made in researching court records has upped the ante considerably on the need to declare a man who has been in prison almost 25 years innocent of murder. The document, which has not previously been cited or published by media, also begs for a fresh and complete investigation of the Williamson County commissioners court and its attempt to protect a lawyer who was involved in that murder case, as well as commissioners court’s apparent retaliation against the county attorney who tried to confront the protection practice.
And perhaps of greatest importance, especially in light of this new document, are the motives, actions and practices of Williamson County’s present district attorney, John “Marty” Bradley.
In 1987, Michael W. Morton, a Williamson County resident, was convicted by a Williamson County jury of murdering his wife, Christine, in 1986. On August 17, 2011, after a relentless effort by The Innocence Project and Morton’s attorneys, the Austin American-Statesman, the Houston Chronicle, The Texas Tribune, and other media, including electronic media, broke the news that Morton’s attorneys had been successful in having key evidence subjected to DNA analysis, with the result that Morton now appears not to have committed the crime. Other exculpatory evidence has also been brought into play by this development in the case. During efforts on Morton’s behalf to acquire and test the evidence, John Bradley, the current district attorney in Williamson County, went to extensive efforts to keep the evidence from being released and tested.
And now, close on the heels of that initial breaking news, there is additional and significant information which has not been previously published by media. Research has turned up documentation pointing to the conclusion that Bradley apparently is not alone in the effort to sequester key evidence. The prosecution team in that 1987 trial, and one member of that team in particular (second chair), has been identified by the new documentation as being in the center of the exculpatory evidence controversy.
In an aftershock related to the person in that second chair, the controversial conflict between County Attorney Jana Duty and the Williamson County commissioners court (which is still ongoing because of grievances filed by that court against Duty with the Texas Bar Association) is shown in a new light, pointing to a conclusion which supports Duty’s actions in trying to hold members of commissioners court, and County Judge Dan Gattis in particular, accountable for alleged improprieties which include, of all people, the person in the second chair at the Morton trial as well as District Attorney John Bradley.
Additional controversy in Williamson County is ongoing in another developing and fast-moving plot in which commissioners court appears to be attempting to exact retaliation on Duty and some members of her staff for their attempts to hold members of that court accountable for their actions. And a sidebar to the perspective involves commissioner court members apparently deciding to discontinue important, safety-net, social service and human service aspects of the county’s obligation to provide for the welfare of its citizens.
Click here to read the rest.
Rick Casey: Bandana’s DNA bares DA’s bias.