Someone Did Very Bad Things, But Texas Prosecutor in Morton Case Claims It’s Morton Attorneys Who Are Guilty of Misconduct. Really?
Back in October 2011, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals issued its opinion in the case of Michael Morton, releasing Mr. Morton as a free man – due in no small part to the unflagging efforts of the Innocence Project. For details on that case, and to read the court’s opinion, check out our earlier post.
Prosecutor Points Finger at Lawyers Acting For Michael Morton of Underhanded Dealings
Two days ago, the prosecutor at Michael Morton’s criminal trial, former Williamson County Prosecutor Ken Anderson, filed his official brief in the formal court record where he claims that Mr. Morton’s attorneys have acted in a down and dirty manner in their accusations against Anderson.
According to Anderson’s brief, the Morton attorneys have lied, they’ve not been fully forthcoming with known facts, and they’ve spun their description of what is in the trial court transcripts and evidence filings. That’s right: Morton’s DNA proved him innocent, and now Anderson is another victim of injustice.
Anderson is claiming that Morton’s lawyers zipped past the line of zealous representation into evildoing here, all in order to accuse Anderson, as the prosecutor, of holding back evidence that if introduced at trial might well have meant Morton, as an innocent man, would not have been unjustly incarcerated.
Judge Sid Harle and the Court of Inquiry
Ken Anderson didn’t throw the first punch here; his brief with its exhibits is filed in response to a report presented to the Honorable Sid Harle, a district court judge out of San Antonio who was appointed by Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson to preside over The State of Texas v. Michael Morton. The report was filed by Michael Morton’s lawyers, and within the report were allegations that Ken Anderson, while a Williamson County prosecutor in the Morton criminal trial, undertook actions that necessitate a Court of Inquiry under the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.
If Judge Harle goes forward with the inquiry, it will be a Major Big Deal – these things just don’t happen very often (read that EVER). Experts are calling the fact that Morton’s even requesting the darn thing an “extraordinary legal event.”
As for what was hidden at trial and for which the Morton attorneys are requesting Harle to investigate the prosecution’s action, read our earlier post detailing the evidence that never made it to the criminal trial courtroom. Smells real fishy, doesn’t it?
Gets worse: after Morton was freed, investigations into possible prosecutorial misconduct heated up and among other things, as reported to Judge Harle in the December 19, 2011, request for a formal inquiry, Ken Anderson reportedly did sneaky stuff like moving to bar Morton’s son from testifying at trial, and also taking steps to keep the defense from getting ahold of an investigator’s notes.
As for the likelihood that this thing – this Court of Inquiry – is going to have a real life, check out Grits for Breakfast’s take on things. One of Grits‘ good points — if a Texas judge and a Texas prosecutor can be having an affair during a murder trial and not get disciplined in any way for it, even the United States Supreme Court did nothing, then who’s taking bets on this case?
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