HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Latest Breaking News (Forum) » Ex-Texas DA Acted Imprope...

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 03:03 PM

Ex-Texas DA Acted Improperly In Case That Sent Innocent Man To Prison (arrest warrant to be issued)

Source: Associated Press

GEORGETOWN, Texas ó A Texas judge has ruled that a former district attorney acted improperly when he prosecuted an innocent man who spent nearly 25 years in prison for his wife's murder.

District Judge Louis Sturns, of Fort Worth, said Friday he will issue an arrest warrant for Ken Anderson on criminal contempt and tampering charges for his handling of the case of Michael Morton.

Morton was released in 2011 after new DNA testing showed he had not killed his wife in 1985. His attorneys say Anderson hid evidence from Morton's defense that could have pointed to his innocence.

Anderson, who is now a judge, has denied any wrongdoing.

Read more: http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/358dabcb2df34687ae7b1943b3981c88/US-Wrongful-Conviction-Prosecutor

35 replies, 4167 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 35 replies Author Time Post
Reply Ex-Texas DA Acted Improperly In Case That Sent Innocent Man To Prison (arrest warrant to be issued) (Original post)
Purveyor Apr 2013 OP
Ash_F Apr 2013 #1
lupulin Apr 2013 #2
jmowreader Apr 2013 #5
Orrex Apr 2013 #18
lupulin Apr 2013 #23
Sheldon Cooper Apr 2013 #27
lupulin Apr 2013 #29
Bernardo de La Paz Apr 2013 #3
LarryNM Apr 2013 #24
azurnoir Apr 2013 #4
Shrike47 Apr 2013 #14
azurnoir Apr 2013 #21
cstanleytech Apr 2013 #31
LostOne4Ever Apr 2013 #33
freshwest Apr 2013 #6
Baitball Blogger Apr 2013 #7
jmowreader Apr 2013 #26
Baitball Blogger Apr 2013 #28
jmowreader Apr 2013 #30
Name removed Apr 2013 #32
Comrade Grumpy Apr 2013 #8
summerschild Apr 2013 #9
cpamomfromtexas Apr 2013 #10
bluedigger Apr 2013 #11
marble falls Apr 2013 #12
AnotherMcIntosh Apr 2013 #13
killbotfactory Apr 2013 #15
lark Apr 2013 #16
cosmicone Apr 2013 #17
Sunlei Apr 2013 #19
UnrepentantLiberal Apr 2013 #20
azurnoir Apr 2013 #22
mountain grammy Apr 2013 #25
jmowreader Apr 2013 #34
The Wizard Apr 2013 #35

Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 03:05 PM

1. Well that's a first

Hope his victims see justice. We need more of this.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 03:05 PM

2. Cannot imagine losing 25 years of life for something I didn't do.

If this (now) judge willfully hid evidence I hope he gets at least 25 years.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to lupulin (Reply #2)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 03:27 PM

5. Google Cameron Todd Willingham

The state of Texas executed him for something he didn't do.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jmowreader (Reply #5)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 04:47 PM

18. Impossible!

I thought that capital punishment was a great punishment and a terrific deterrent, and it works so perfectly well because it's never ever ever wrong!

Say it ain't so!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jmowreader (Reply #5)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 05:43 PM

23. From the little I read

it sounds like a horrible travesty. I'm glad that technologies for acquiring and vetting evidence are improving but there will always be horrible mistakes, human error, and human malfeasance.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to lupulin (Reply #23)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 06:06 PM

27. Which is why the death penalty should be eliminated. Period.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Sheldon Cooper (Reply #27)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 06:14 PM

29. No argument here.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 03:07 PM

3. Throw the book at corrupt prosecutors and corrupt detectives and corrupt police. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #3)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 05:49 PM

24. +1,000 n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 03:15 PM

4. The prosecution blocked evidence including that of his son who witnessed the murder

] Morton has accused Anderson of failing to provide defense lawyers with exculpatory evidence indicating that another man might have killed Morton's wife, including information that his 3-year-old son witnessed the murder and said his dad was not home at the time. Morton's attorneys discovered this evidence while preparing a final appeal, and were able to get Anderson and others involved in the investigation deposed under oath. On February 20, 2012; Harle asked the Texas Supreme Court to convene a court of inquiry, finding that there was evidence to support Morton's contention that Anderson had tampered with evidence and should have been held in contempt of court for not complying with the trial judge's order to let him review all possible exculpatory evidence. The court of inquiry began on February 4, 2013. If it finds that there is reason to believe Anderson broke the law, Anderson could potentially face charges that carry up to 10 years in prison


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Morton_%28criminal_justice%29

how horrible for all involved, and the little boy who was robbed of both his parents

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to azurnoir (Reply #4)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 04:27 PM

14. Remember, the child was 3. He almost certainly was not competent to testify.

Examining little kids in court is damned difficult and really hard on the kids. (yes, I've done it.)

I do not mean to say his statements should have been withheld, just that they might not be as useful as you would imagine.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Shrike47 (Reply #14)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 04:54 PM

21. the testimony should have been admitted period

this was a capital case and while a 3 year old might not be the best witness it is better than none

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to azurnoir (Reply #4)

Sat Apr 20, 2013, 10:30 PM

31. That law needs to be changed so that people like Anderson face the same length of time and or

sentence the person was convicted had to serve if its found to be done by malice by the prosecution.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cstanleytech (Reply #31)

Sun Apr 21, 2013, 12:36 AM

33. Thats what I was thinking

So this attorney steals over 2 decades of this mans life, and his punishment is less than half of that?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 03:29 PM

6. Wonders never cease. This sounds good.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 03:34 PM

7. "who is now a judge" Holy Crap!

Open up his cases to see if there was some quid pro quo going on with people who caught on.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Baitball Blogger (Reply #7)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 06:04 PM

26. There may not have been quid pro quo per se

Judges are elected. If you want to be seen by the voters as tough on crime you convict as much as you can and look for ultra harsh sentences. Texans and Idahoans love their hanging judges.(We have a judge up here who will put you in jail for a week with no work release for writing one bad check...there was one case last week, seven days in jail and restitution of $34.50. And they wonder why our jail is 200 percent of capacity, but stating the obvious as a solution (quit using jail as the default punishment for anything harder than left turn violations) means you want rapists and child molesters walking free.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jmowreader (Reply #26)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 06:09 PM

28. As a member of a minority group, let me just say that you haven't said anything to appease

my concerns.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Baitball Blogger (Reply #28)

Sat Apr 20, 2013, 10:05 PM

30. I'm not sure how your concerns could be appeased

Judges and prosecutors are elected. Ninety-eight percent of us have no idea who is a good or a bad one of these officials - unless you are in the criminal justice system on a regular basis (whether that be as a lawyer, judge, prosecutor, paraprofessional or career criminal) you really don't know the people running for those offices. What we do know is their conviction rate, because that's public record. Because we are in a more-is-better society, a prosecutor who throws 95 percent of the people brought before him in jail simply must be a better prosecutor than one who throws only 75 percent of his cases in jail. That the 75 percent guy actually looks at the cases he was presented and throws out the DWB tickets when they hit his desk, and the 95 percent guy prosecutes everything as if it's a murder case, is beside the point. The 95 percent guy is a good prosecutor and the 75 percent guy is soft on crime.

In the great documentary "Idiocracy" Joe was arrested for being "unscannable" (everyone had an identifying barcode tattooed on his or her wrist, and Joe didn't have one) and for not paying his hospital bill. The prosecutor's main evidence was "just look at him." Unfortunately, and especially in the case of minorities, that seems to be the main evidence in way too many cases in the present-day US. "Yeah, he's black/brown/yellow/looks like a punk/has too many tattoos...he had to have done it."

The solution is to appoint prosecutors and judges rather than electing them, and not allow them to serve in their hometowns. A panel of sitting judges could pick new judges, and a panel of sitting prosecutors could pick prosecutors.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jmowreader (Reply #30)


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 03:40 PM

8. Good. Prosecutorial misconduct is rampant across the land.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 03:44 PM

9. Thank God he had not been sentenced to death, as Texas loves to do.

Oh, never mind.

Shrub himself told us Texas had NEVER executed an innocent person.

I'm thankful Mr. Morton is finally free. I hope this judge goes down.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 03:50 PM

10. Far too frequent and so is tampering with evidence

Friscopaul.blogspot.com

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 04:00 PM

11. Anyone interested in this story should read this.

http://www.texasmonthly.com/story/innocent-man-part-one

I found it to be a very good and compelling read about Morton's story.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 04:06 PM

12. I'msurprised the judge moved so fast to issue an arrest warrant.Too bad there won't be ...

perp walk. Williamson County law enforcement all want to run for Congress or Governor or federal bench and are disciplined regularly for shenanigans. It seems he may well have to go to jail for at least a little while.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 04:24 PM

13. Holding this former prosecutor responsible for his wrongdoing will be a major event.

 

This just isn't done.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 04:33 PM

15. It is shocking that this is happening

In Texas of all places.

Congrats to the Texas judge for not putting up with such heinous bullshit.

A prosecutor used state resources to ruin an innocent man's life after he lost his wife. He deserves to rot in jail.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 04:39 PM

16. Gee whiz, a TX prosecutor acting illegally.

I'm shocked, I tell you, shocked!!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 04:46 PM

17. We need to reward prosecutors differently than

the current system of evaluating and promoting them based on conviction rates.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 04:51 PM

19. wow, and then to refuse to do a simple DNA test from 2005 to 2011

The 3 year old probably never forgot what he saw. He's an adult now. Wonder what he has to say.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 04:54 PM

20. Finally!

 

I hope they go all the way with this and don't let him off with a slap on the wrist.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 05:32 PM

22. The evidence that was withheld is staggering

It goes beyond the transcript of the conversation about what 3-year-old Eric saw the morning his mother died that Mr. Mortonís trial lawyers did not see. When his new lawyers dug through the old files, they discovered that neighbors had told the police that they had seen a man in a green van casing the Mortonsí home. And there was a report that Christine Mortonís credit card had been used fraudulently after her death.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/08/us/exonerated-in-wifes-killing-father-renews-bonds-with-son.html?pagewanted=all

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 06:03 PM

25. Send the judge (really?) to Huntsville!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mountain grammy (Reply #25)

Sun Apr 21, 2013, 05:42 PM

34. They couldn't put him in the prison

If you dig a huge hole in your yard and someone falls in it, they charge you with maintaining an attractive nuisance. Throwing a judge in jail is another attractive nuisance situation; it's inviting someone to kill him.

OTOH, I see nothing wrong with sentencing him to sweep the truck lot at the Huntsville Pilot with a whisk broom while wearing a court jester costume with "I stole a man's life" embroidered on it, and ordering him to live in a pup tent near the fuel island, for the rest of his life.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Sun Apr 21, 2013, 08:48 PM

35. A major drawback

of the adversarial system compared to inquisitorial is that in the adversary system winning is primary and justice secondary.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread