Tag Archives: John Bradley

Trial of Man Accused of Killing Christine Morton Begins, After Husband’s Exoneration

The Houston Chronicle reported yesterday (here) that in opening statements in the trial of Mark Alan Norwood, on trial for the 1986 bludgeoning death of Christine Morton, prosecutor Lisa Tanner told jurors that the state will present new evidence connecting Norwood to the crime. Tanner, representing the Texas Attorney General’s Office, said that a .45 Colt pistol that was missing from the Morton home after the murder was located by prosecutors.  Norwood allegedly sold the gun, registered to Christine’s husband Michael Morton, to a man who had hired Norwood to work on a home remodeling project. Continue reading

Texas Wrongful Conviction Continues to Reveal Tragic Human Costs

Yesterday, a Travis County (TX) grand jury indicted Mark Norwood on capital murder charges in the 1988 death of Debra Baker. Norwood is currently awaiting trial on murder charges in the 1986 death of Christine Morton. The apprehension of the man whose DNA is allegedly linked to both murders was delayed more than two decades by the wrongful conviction of Michael Morton, Christine’s husband, who served 25 years in prison for the crime he always said he did not commit.

The lesson is painfully clear: If Norwood is guilty of both murders, Debra Baker would likely be alive today had Norwood, and not Michael Morton, been Continue reading

Lessons Learned by Texas D.A. Should Not be Lost on Others

The once powerful Williamson County (TX) District Attorney John Bradley is looking for a new job. He was the definition of a hard-nosed prosecutor and had served at the voters’ pleasure since his appointment by Governor Rick Perry in 2001 until his stunning defeat in the primary for his re-election earlier this year.

Bradley became high profile nationally when Governor Perry appointed him to chair the Texas Forensic Science Commission during the contentious discussions regarding arson forensic evidence in general and the Todd Willingham case in particular. Willingham, who always claimed innocence in the fire death of his Continue reading

Tough-on-Crime Prosecutor Fights for Job After Resisting DNA Testing

In dueling commentaries in the Austin (TX) newspaper The Statesman, Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley here and John Raley (eight-year pro bono attorney on the Innocence Project team that represented Michael Morton) here, are giving voters two versions of why Michael Morton spent an extra 2,400 days in prison for a crime he did not commit. At stake is an election in which Bradley is struggling to keep his job. Bradley, who has been a popular tough-on-crime prosecutor in Texas for ten years, is trying to refocus the race on anything but the issue that is dominating it: His long record of resisting a second look at the conviction of Michael Morton.

For those who have observed prosecutorial resistance to post-conviction DNA testing that eventually proved a wrongful conviction, the story is tragically familiar. Continue reading