As reported by ABC News (here), former Williamson County (TX) District Attorney Ken Anderson, 61, accepted a plea deal Friday that will likely end criminal and civil cases against him as a result of his handling of the wrongful conviction of Michael Morton. Anderson will serve 10 days in jail. He also will be disbarred and will be required to serve 500 hours of community service.
Michael Morton, the man who served nearly 25 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of the 1986 bludgeoning murder of his wife, was present at the proceeding at the Williamson County Courthouse where Anderson recently resigned from his position as district judge.
Morton reportedly said, “It’s a good day.”
According to Morton’s attorney, all cases handled by Anderson will be subject to an audit to determine other possible misconduct.
Judge Louis Sturns of Fort Worth today issued an arrest warrant for former Williamson County Prosecutor Ken Anderson, currently a Texas District judge, for his handling of the case of Michael Morton. According to the Wall Street Journal (here), following a weeklong Court of Inquiry earlier this year, Judge Sturns has ruled that there was sufficient evidence that Anderson “was guilty of all three charges brought against him: criminal contempt of court, tampering with evidence and tampering with government records.” Continue reading
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
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
Millions of Americans had their eyes opened to two important criminal justice issues—prosecutorial misconduct and wrongful conviction compensation—as national television news programs explored topics related to wrongful conviction last night, Sunday, March 25, 2012. Ohio Innocence Project Director Mark Godsey previously announced these programs on this blog. If you missed them, see the video link here to the 14-minute segment of CBS’s 60 MINUTES with Michael Morton, who spent 25 years in prison before DNA proved he didn’t murder his wife. The piece explores the case that has prompted a rare judicial inquiry into allegations of prosecutorial Continue reading
Posted in Compensation/Exoneree compensation, Editorials/Opinion, Prosecutorial conduct (good and bad), Reforming/Improving the system
Tagged 60 Minutes, After Innocence, CNN, Ken Anderson, Michael Morton, Nancy Petro, prosecutorial misconduct, wrongful conviction compensation
This week Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson ordered a special “court of inquiry” into former Williamson County District Attorney Ken Anderson’s alleged misconduct in his prosecution of Michael Morton, proven innocent of murdering his wife after he served … Continue reading