Anderson inquiry getting statewide attention

Posted in Around The State, Criminal Justice, Williamson County at 10:27 am by wcnews

From the DMN, Editorial: Inquiry needed in Morton case.

Michael Morton committed no crime the morning of Aug. 13, 1986, which started out as innocently as any other: out the door at 5:30 a.m. for his job as a grocery store manager. The public knows that today.

What we don’t know is whether a crime was committed in putting Morton in prison for nearly 25 years in the beating death of his wife that summer morning. While Morton’s innocence is unquestioned, former District Attorney Ken Anderson must account for disturbing questions about how he orchestrated a case he could sell to a jury and why he withheld exculpatory evidence before trial and during years of appeals.

For that reason we welcome a state judge’s decision in Williamson County last week recommending a rare court of inquiry into Anderson’s behavior.


The Morton fiasco has become a case study in the compounding nature of inept or corrupt police work. Morton became a patsy for a high-profile crime, and while he remained locked up in prison, the killer apparently struck again. Suddenly, a second family was dealing with a tragedy that might not have happened had investigators picked up on obvious clues and taken a dangerous predator off the streets.

And the AAS, Possibility of misconduct enough to merit full Anderson inquiry.

The inquiry needs to go forward for a couple of reasons at least. If Anderson did nothing wrong he has nothing to worry about and the inquiry will make if official, if not he’s in trouble. But it must be done to show all prosecutors across the state if they play fast-and-loose with the evidence there are consequences. Their job is to bring justice, not quick and “successful” prosecutions. And if they forget that then everyone, and our justice system, gets hurt.

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