Skip to comments.Texan freed by DNA test after 25 years exonerated
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 ...
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.
True, he’ll have to be very strong to get past all that he lost; family, time, and perhaps friends who believed his guilt.
It sounds as thought the son must be alive.
25 years. Bet that air smells good.
This is why I don’t support the death penalty.
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, ...
“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.
I support the death penalty when there is ample evidence...like matching DNA, recorded video, and or a confession.
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.
Did you notice that he didn’t get a death sentence?
So who did it?
Yes, but others did and there are many Mike Nifong types out there.
It should be about a million dollars per year of false incarceration, not eighty grand...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I would be very hesitant to convict solely on a confession.
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.
Hopefully Bradley, the DA, will run against the corrupt current judge in the next judicial election. He should be a shoo-in.
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..
Didn’t know that; so Bradley is a scumbag, too.
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.
Death penalty cases get far more scrutiny.
So 25 years of your life means nothing?
Check out the case of Hank Skinner. Perry's boys are fighting like heck to preclude DNA testing.
Did you notice that he didnt get a death sentence?
Was he charged with capital murder?
Nothing like knowingly prosecuting an innocent man.
Never, ever, trust any law enforcement officer.
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.
Just needs to be said, the DNA technologies were not available to law enforcement 25 years ago.