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Prosecutorial Misconduct Rules Issued by Texas Supreme Court: Where is Michael Morton’s Prosecutor, Ken Anderson, Now?

Prosecutors do bad things all the time here in Texas; if you doubt this, just read a few of the stories we’ve posted about regarding abusive and illegal actions by District Attorneys here in the Lone Star State. These state prosecutors do all sorts of illegal acts, from hiding evidence and introducing false evidence in a criminal trial (no, this wasn’t Ken Anderson here), to taking bribes and kickbacks, and more.

We’ve been monitoring the actions being taken down in Austin regarding shocking prosecutorial misconduct by not just any old prosecutor but top District Attorneys throughout the State of Texas, including the new Michael Morton Act (SB 1611) and an amendment to the Texas Government Code Section 81.072 (SB 825).

Texas Supreme Court Amends Disciplinary Rules for Prosecutorial Misconduct

As lawyers licensed in Texas are well aware, Texas attorneys are overseen by the State Bar of Texas which oversees ethical rules promulgated by the Texas Supreme Court (”the Disciplinary Rules”). A few days ago, the Texas Supreme Court changed these rules as they apply to prosecutorial misconduct, following along with the new legislative action this Spring on the same issue (i.e., SB 825).

You can read the October 14, 2013 Order of the Texas Supreme Court containing the new rules online here.

Among these changes is specific language in the new DRs that prosecutors may be punished years after the criminal case has been tried if it is shown that there has been “fraudulent concealment” of key evidence in a wrongful conviction.

Ken Anderson, Prosecutor in Wrongful Conviction of Michael Morton, Still Fighting His Own Prosecutors Now

If this sounds like the pending Ken Anderson case involving the wrongful conviction of Michael Morton (see our earlier post for details), it should. This amendment by the Texas Supreme Court and the passage of Senate Bill 825 are direct results of the scandal that has resulted from the Michael Morton wrongful conviction case.

Which isn’t over. Ken Anderson resigned his position as a Williamson County District Judge on September 24, 2013, by writing a letter of resignation to Governor Rick Perry.

He’s still facing prosecutors as a defendant right now.

Because of his role as the prosecutor in the Michael Morton trial, and what he did there, Ken Anderson faces two trials for his alleged bad acts during that earlier criminal proceeding.   The Anderson trial based upon disciplinary rule violations, was set to begin in September 2013.   Ken Anderson also faces a criminal trial based upon the Court of Inquiry’s appointed judge (Judge Louis Sturns) charging Anderson with tampering with government records and tampering with physical evidence, along with failing to comply with a judge’s order to turn over this evidence (contempt of court).

Anderson is fighting back by arguing a limitations defense — that it’s too late to bring these charges against him (read about that here).

Which makes the clarification in the new Texas statute and the new Texas Supreme Court Rule 15.06 regarding limitations in these situations (read it here, on page 5) that much easier to understand, doesn’t it?

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For more information on Appeals of a Trial Result or Wrongful Conviction, check out our web resources page and to learn more about prosecutorial misconduct, check our series of blog posts on that topic.

 


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