While I believe most prosecutors are ethical and take their obligations to the U.S. Constitution seriously there are some, too many in fact, who routinely and intentionally engage in government misconduct such as disclosure breaches. This is known as a Brady violation. Yes, there really is a Brady disclosure law that the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly insisted that prosecutors favor disclosure over concealment.
There are many facets to the Brady disclosure, but the statute that was breached by the prosecution in this case states that:
- The prosecutor must disclose to the defense any evidence or information that is material to the guilt [or innocence] of the defendant.
Michael Morton - The Defendant
In 1986 Michael Morton's wife Christine was beaten to death.
In 1987 Michael Morton was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.
The murder was in fact committed by someone else but that would be discovered 25 years too late, especially for Debra Baker who was murdered by the same man in 1988.
Ken Anderson - The Prosecutor
During the 1987 trial of Michael Morton, Williamson County, Texas prosecutor Ken Anderson had a statement from an eye witness stating that Morton was not in the home at the time of the murder and did not commit the murder. Anderson withheld this statement from the defense. That is a direct violation of the Brady disclosure. (Ken Anderson later became a judge)
In 2005 an organization known as The Innocence Project got involved and filed for DNA testing to clear Morton. The request for DNA testing was tenaciously fought against for 6 years by Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley until 2011 when a judge approved the request.
The DNA testing cleared Morton who was released from prison after serving 25 years for a crime he did not commit, and identified Mark Alan Norwood as the murderer of Christine Morton and also of Debra Baker.
In 2013 former prosecutor and judge Ken Anderson was arrested for contempt of court. He was sentenced to 10 days in jail, yes 10 DAYS, $500 fine and 500 hours community service. He was released for good behavior after serving only 5 days. He lost his license to practice law but can reapply in five years.
My opinion, if not for Ken Anderson, Debra Baker would still be alive. Michael Morton would not have lost 25 years of his life, and Ken Anderson should have been given a real prison sentence.
If you have never actually seen a grown man lie through his teeth, backpedal and not take responsibility for anything, now is your chance. He says the system failed. It did not, he lied. He says there was no such thing as DNA testing in 1987, that is true but there was such a thing as witness statements in 1987, he concealed an important one. Meet Ken Anderson.
What do you think of this prosecutor and this case? Please leave your comment below. (your comment won't show up right away, it might take a day or two)