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Texan freed by DNA test after 25 years exonerated
AP via news.yahoo.com ^ | Wed Oct 12, 2011 | Will Weissert

Posted on 10/12/2011 4:28:38 PM PDT by posterchild

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A Texas appeals court on Wednesday formally exonerated a man who spent nearly 25 years in prison for his wife's 1986 fatal beating, reaffirming a judge's decision to set him free last week after DNA tests linked the killing to another man.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals declared Michael Morton innocent of killing his wife, Christine, and made him eligible to receive $80,000 from the state for each year of confinement, or about $2 million total.

Morton, 57, was convicted on the basis of circumstantial evidence and sentenced to life in prison. He maintained over the years that his wife and their 3-year-old son were fine when he left for work at an Austin grocery store on the day she was killed, and that an intruder must have attacked her.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: dna; feminism; police; socialism; teachers
Prayers for this man. I could not imagine the horror of having 25 years wasted like that.
1 posted on 10/12/2011 4:28:40 PM PDT by posterchild
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To: posterchild

I cannot imagine a greater hell than to have your wife and child murder and be falsely convicted of the crime.

I hope he has a forgiving heart for his own sake.


2 posted on 10/12/2011 4:33:22 PM PDT by Retired Greyhound (.)
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To: Retired Greyhound

True, he’ll have to be very strong to get past all that he lost; family, time, and perhaps friends who believed his guilt.


3 posted on 10/12/2011 4:38:48 PM PDT by posterchild (I'm old enough to remember when journalists bothered to look things up on wikipedia.)
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To: Retired Greyhound
"Among the evidence the Innocence Project says Anderson kept from Morton's defense lawyers were statements Christine Morton's mother made to police, in which she said her grandson told her he watched his mother get killed and that it wasn't his father who killed her."

It sounds as thought the son must be alive.

4 posted on 10/12/2011 4:40:36 PM PDT by Baynative (The penalty for not participating in politics is you will be governed by your inferiors.)
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To: posterchild

25 years. Bet that air smells good.


5 posted on 10/12/2011 4:42:16 PM PDT by allmost
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To: posterchild

This is why I don’t support the death penalty.


6 posted on 10/12/2011 4:43:18 PM PDT by Darren McCarty (Perry and Cain I can support, but no Romney)
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To: posterchild

Innocent man locked up, tried, convicted, on police and judicial fraud is what it looks like. I cannot endorse the innocence project because it has no desire to address the actual problem. Corrupt police and judges. You take these on and you’ve got a winner ‘innocence project’. If not, ...


7 posted on 10/12/2011 4:47:07 PM PDT by allmost
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To: posterchild

“The Innocence Project has accused the prosecutor who originally handled the case, Ken Anderson, of deliberately concealing non-DNA evidence that likely would have helped Morton avoid being convicted in the first place. Anderson, who is now a district judge in Williamson County, has not responded to repeated requests for comment made through his court administrator.

Morrison said the defense is working with Bradley’s office to investigate allegations of prosecutorial wrongdoing, and will continue to do so over the next month. Among the evidence the Innocence Project says Anderson kept from Morton’s defense lawyers were statements Christine Morton’s mother made to police, in which she said her grandson told her he watched his mother get killed and that it wasn’t his father who killed her.”

The above is quoted from the article. If this is true, the former Prosecutor, Ken Anderson, now a Judge, should be disbarred and imprisoned for at least 25 years.


8 posted on 10/12/2011 4:47:25 PM PDT by GGpaX4DumpedTea (I am a tea party descendant - steeped in the Constitutional legacy handed down by the Founders)
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To: Darren McCarty

I support the death penalty when there is ample evidence...like matching DNA, recorded video, and or a confession.


9 posted on 10/12/2011 4:50:33 PM PDT by proudpapa (Cain-West - 2012)
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To: Baynative

and the “Prosecutor” prevented the bandana from being DNA tested for 5 years.

he also kept hidden that the wife’s credit card and checkbook were used days after the murder, by the real murderer.

...yet the people who deliberately interfered with justice
(isn’t that a crime ?)
suffer no penalty whatsoever.

the man suffers. and innocent taxpayers have to fork out 2 million. but the Prosecutor, and others who helped to keep an innocent man in jail, won’t be disbarred, or suffer any penalty.


10 posted on 10/12/2011 4:50:53 PM PDT by Elendur (It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. - Thomas Jefferson)
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To: Darren McCarty

Did you notice that he didn’t get a death sentence?


11 posted on 10/12/2011 4:52:14 PM PDT by SunTzuWu
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To: posterchild

So who did it?


12 posted on 10/12/2011 4:53:12 PM PDT by Repeal The 17th
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To: SunTzuWu

Yes, but others did and there are many Mike Nifong types out there.


13 posted on 10/12/2011 4:54:25 PM PDT by Darren McCarty (Perry and Cain I can support, but no Romney)
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To: posterchild

It should be about a million dollars per year of false incarceration, not eighty grand...


14 posted on 10/12/2011 4:55:26 PM PDT by sargon (I don't like the sound of these "boncentration bamps")
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To: proudpapa
I support the death penalty when there is ample evidence...like matching DNA, recorded video, and or a confession.
Here is a case where a man is currently serving a life sentence for rape, based at least in part on the fact that the State of Florida mislabeled the DNA used for the test.

It turns out that the DNA claimed to belong to the defendant really belonged to the woman's boyfriend.

I haven't followed the case, so I don't know how strong the rest of the case was, but this is a clear reminder that even things like DNA can be wrong or misleading because of the possibility of human error.

15 posted on 10/12/2011 4:57:55 PM PDT by Johnny B.
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To: Johnny B.
This one caught my eye some while back, sad, frustrating and I can't comprehend what he went through. Now, he is trying to clear his name.

Va. Attorney General hires convict claiming innocence

Wrongly Convicted Va. Man Asks For Full Exoneration

16 posted on 10/12/2011 5:06:14 PM PDT by FritzG
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To: proudpapa
People confess often under duress to crimes they never committed. A confession should be treated as skeptically as eye-witness identification.
17 posted on 10/12/2011 5:06:48 PM PDT by starlifter (Pullum sapit)
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To: SunTzuWu
Sounds like the man needs to administer a couple death sentences.

/.02

18 posted on 10/12/2011 5:09:14 PM PDT by tomkat (para bellum)
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To: Repeal The 17th
I'm appalled by ANY person who is innocent who is exonerated by DNA evidence. However, DNA "proof" has been available for about 20 some years. So now that we know about it, let's use it. I'm unaware of some person who has gotten DNA evidence that proves they "didn't" commit a crime.

Yes, if the ONLY bit of evidence there is/was some nebulous or non-conclusive element, let the person go free. And prosecute the bastards that used such "evidence". Why should the citizens be on the hook for crappy investigative work.

My only question is how did they get a conviction in the first place, knowing what we know now? In the case of Mumia, forget the DNA. There's no question he was the perp. The LACK of DNA doesn't mean that the killer wasn't there.

19 posted on 10/12/2011 5:11:55 PM PDT by boop ("Let's just say they'll be satisfied with LESS"... Ming the Merciless)
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To: Elendur
"and the “Prosecutor” prevented the bandana from being DNA tested for 5 years. ~~~~ he also kept hidden that the wife’s credit card and checkbook were used days after the murder, by the real murderer.~~~~~~~ ...yet the people who deliberately interfered with justice (isn’t that a crime ?)~ suffer no penalty whatsoever."

If half of this is true, $2 Million is not nearly enough. He should sue the state into oblivion and sue the prosecutor personally in civil court.

20 posted on 10/12/2011 5:19:04 PM PDT by Baynative (The penalty for not participating in politics is you will be governed by your inferiors.)
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To: boop

I have come to view this in part as a government spending issue. Sure it is a corruption issue, but the fact that we give prosecutors essentially an unlimited budget means they can go after whomever they want and take cases to trial to convict a guy they know is innocent. With tighter budgets DAs and judges might be more judicious.


21 posted on 10/12/2011 5:21:55 PM PDT by JLS (How to turn a recession into a depression: elect a Dem president with a big majorities in Congress)
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To: boop

The corrupt prosecutor obtained the conviction by withholding evidence from the defense which would have exonerated the defendant. Such as the kid saying it wasn’t his dad and the wife’s cards being used days after her murder. There are no real penalties when the police and prosecutors are caught doing this and many career rewards. Meanwhile, innocent people go through hell.


22 posted on 10/12/2011 5:23:28 PM PDT by jimnm
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To: Darren McCarty

We have a moral obligation to society to purge the ground of certain evil elements. The death penalty does just that.

The so called death penalty system we have now is immoral, and an affront to civilization.


23 posted on 10/12/2011 5:23:55 PM PDT by Balding_Eagle (Overproduction, one of the top five worries of the American Farmer each and every year..)
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To: proudpapa

I would be very hesitant to convict solely on a confession.


24 posted on 10/12/2011 5:36:32 PM PDT by SeaHawkFan
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To: posterchild

25 posted on 10/12/2011 5:46:37 PM PDT by expat1000
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To: sargon

Yes, they act like it’s just lost income that matters, and not the horrible environment, the danger to one’s life, the lost youth, the separation from one’s family, the outrage of the false conviction.

The richest man in the world cannot buy twenty-five years.


26 posted on 10/12/2011 5:55:50 PM PDT by heartwood
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To: SeaHawkFan
Could reply to many threads here but Morton maintained his innocence for 20+ years. Nasty thing here in Williamson County TX. Several folks are going to have a very bad soul searching weekend. It looks like the Morton killer did a similar thing about 2 years after the Morton murder. So wrong guy gets convicted and real killer 2 years later murders another woman. Can't get much worse.
27 posted on 10/12/2011 5:55:50 PM PDT by nomorelurker
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To: SeaHawkFan
Could reply to many threads here but Morton maintained his innocence for 20+ years. Nasty thing here in Williamson County TX. Several folks are going to have a very bad soul searching weekend. It looks like the Morton killer did a similar thing about 2 years after the Morton murder. So wrong guy gets convicted and real killer 2 years later murders another woman. Can't get much worse.
28 posted on 10/12/2011 5:56:05 PM PDT by nomorelurker
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To: nomorelurker

Hopefully Bradley, the DA, will run against the corrupt current judge in the next judicial election. He should be a shoo-in.


29 posted on 10/12/2011 6:04:29 PM PDT by SeaHawkFan
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To: SeaHawkFan
Bradely spent the last 4 years or so trying to keep out the DNA evidence. Only when Travis County came up with DNA that the real killer did a similar crime 2 years later did he give up. Could be Bradely is toast.
30 posted on 10/12/2011 6:15:31 PM PDT by nomorelurker
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To: Retired Greyhound

Cases like this are one of the reasons I changed my mind of the death penalty....Good thing he got life and not death. There have been several cases like this in the past 8 years after dna came into the forefront. He will be rich but cannot get those years back....plus overzealous prosecutors that have twisted the law or refused to even do trials lawfully, Another example of bad prosecutors is the Duke rape case. Railroading of political opponents etc..


31 posted on 10/12/2011 6:23:19 PM PDT by goat granny
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To: nomorelurker

Didn’t know that; so Bradley is a scumbag, too.


32 posted on 10/12/2011 6:23:35 PM PDT by SeaHawkFan
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To: posterchild

Maybe. I’m not saying not. Amanda Knox is also “innocent”.

DNA has become holier than the Eucharist for the Catholics. While credibility of eyewitnesses and police procedures are questioned, no one ever questions, I’ve noticed, credibility of the process of obtaining and testing the DNA. It is assumed to be perfect. Let’s not complicate things by suspecting that some technician in the lab has certain sympathies, or forgot to clean his test equipment.


33 posted on 10/12/2011 6:24:22 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
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To: Darren McCarty

Death penalty cases get far more scrutiny.


34 posted on 10/12/2011 6:40:40 PM PDT by newzjunkey
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To: newzjunkey

So 25 years of your life means nothing?


35 posted on 10/12/2011 6:47:47 PM PDT by nomorelurker
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To: newzjunkey
Death penalty cases get far more scrutiny.

Check out the case of Hank Skinner. Perry's boys are fighting like heck to preclude DNA testing.

36 posted on 10/12/2011 6:49:45 PM PDT by Forgotten Amendments (Days .... Weeks ..... Months .....)
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To: SunTzuWu

Did you notice that he didn’t get a death sentence?


Was he charged with capital murder?


37 posted on 10/12/2011 7:05:46 PM PDT by deport
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To: posterchild
The Innocence Project has accused the prosecutor who originally handled the case, Ken Anderson, of deliberately concealing non-DNA evidence that likely would have helped Morton avoid being convicted in the first place. Anderson, who is now a district judge in Williamson County, has not responded to repeated requests for comment made through his court administrator.

Nice.

Nothing like knowingly prosecuting an innocent man.

Never, ever, trust any law enforcement officer.

38 posted on 10/12/2011 7:32:37 PM PDT by Ol' Dan Tucker (People should not be afraid of the government. Governement should be afraid of the people)
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To: nomorelurker
Could reply to many threads here but Morton maintained his innocence for 20+ years. Nasty thing here in Williamson County TX. Several folks are going to have a very bad soul searching weekend. It looks like the Morton killer did a similar thing about 2 years after the Morton murder. So wrong guy gets convicted and real killer 2 years later murders another woman. Can't get much worse.

Yeah, it does.

The dishonest DA who knowingly prosecuting an innocent man (and who knows how many others) is now a judge deciding the fate of everyone that comes into his courtroom.

You can also bet that this dishonest individual has turned a blind eye to every bit of prosecutorial misconduct he's encountered.

39 posted on 10/12/2011 7:38:14 PM PDT by Ol' Dan Tucker (People should not be afraid of the government. Governement should be afraid of the people)
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To: posterchild

Just needs to be said, the DNA technologies were not available to law enforcement 25 years ago.


40 posted on 10/12/2011 11:03:55 PM PDT by tlb
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To: tlb
No they were not. Still with the best of intentions 25 years of this man's life is gone.
41 posted on 10/17/2011 5:33:00 PM PDT by nomorelurker
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