Saturday, December 03, 2011

Roundup: Coverage of prosecutor misconduct investigation in Michael Morton case

The articles linked below collectively cast a great deal more light on the prosecutorial misconduct investigation in Williamson County surrounding Judge Ken Anderson and his role prosecuting an innocent man, Michael Morton, for murdering his wife in the '80s. Most Grits readers are familiar with the story: With an innocent man locked up, the real killer went on to commit more crimes, including another murder in the Austin area. Now that DNA has exonerated Morton, his lawyers are investigating alleged prosecutorial misconduct that led to their client's false conviction. A lot's been happening on that front this week, with Judge Ken Anderson's much-anticipated deposition finally released; here are a few recent links for those looking to stay abreast of the controversy:
This amnesiac response from Anderson is especially odd since we know from Don Wood's deposition that Anderson personally attended a meeting before his deposition where all the principles on the prosecution team were given an opportunity to go over old records and discuss the case together, supposedly to refresh their memories (as opposed to getting their stories straight or agreeing to an omerta pact). How can Anderson recall so little, one wonders, having so recently read through the file, discussed it with the principal investigator, etc.?

Grits predicted after Sgt. Don Wood said he remembered nothing about the case that Judge Anderson's memory would probably "turn out to be similarly impaired," and indeed that's how it played out. At best these claims of memory loss come off as dubious, at worst as pure CYA. Judge Anderson remembers nothing about the case except he remembers for certain he did nothing wrong? If he really has no memory, how can he be so sure? Right now, the paper trail argues strongly that Anderson cheated to win and an innocent man spent a quarter-century in prison as a result. Given the evidence now available that Williamson County prosecutors fought for years to conceal, it will take more than blanket denials and claims of memory loss to dispel that singular impression.


alo1216 said...

Upon my teacher’s recommendation, I checked out “Grits for Breakfast”, a fellow classmate’s blog. We previously wrote about Michael Morton, a man wrongfully accused and sent to jail for 25 years. Class is coming to an end and regretfully I didn’t read this blog earlier. His blog is very organized, articulately structured, and extremely informative about a wide variety of all things wrong with our government.
Clearly, Grits for Breakfast has done his research on the Morton case. The long list of embedded links in the middle of the blog is a genius way to show a variety of articles about the case. The links invite you to learn more about the case from different writers using different angles.
My blog post about the Morton case focused more on why pursing justice in this case was so important and John Bradley’s alleged “middle man” position. “Grits for Breakfast” uncovered more details about John Bradley that proved he was not oblivious as I portrayed him. My attention was quickly distracted by the link to a previous blog informing me about a questionable meeting with all the men accused of having a devious role in Morton’s incarceration, Bradley, Anderson, and Wood. A huge amount of suspicion looms about what went on in this meeting, why they needed to have it in the first place and Wood’s denial/absence of memory about the whole case. Originally done on November 2nd, it has too much information to begin to summarize. I can only stress how interesting it is and how rewarding it would be to read it for youself.
Thirty minutes after consuming “Grits for Breakfast”, I was left in the dust. All that I wrote in my blog post of Morton was a crumb compared to my classmates. I would highly recommend his post and blog to anyone. Even this blog post is short because I spent too much time read my classmates! Thank you Mr. Seago for recommending this and hopefully my classmate will continue to update his blog after this semester has ended.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

I'm not one of your classmates, amigo! We've (likely) never met. I'm 45 years old and have been running this blog for the last seven of them. If you were as good as me on your first run out of the gate after I've written 6,000+ posts on this blog, I'd be a little embarrassed, so you shouldn't be. Practice makes perfect!

Otherwise, thanks for the kind words.

bryan simmons said...

John Bradley belongs in a prison cell. He's a goddamn embarassment to the legal profession.

Thomas R. Griffith said...

Hey Grits, whatsup?

alo1216 is a female student in your neck of the woods. At first it appeared that she was some wannabe blog critic hell bent on blowing smoke up your hiney in return for a Love-Link. But, since she never went there, I'm left wondering - why all the classmate crapola?

Anyway you look at it, a bunch of us learned of GFB via word of mouth and with that I also wish to thank Mr. Seago.

*Quick Q. regarding all of the DNA & Non-DNA related exonerations & wrongful convictions. Are you aware of any other Prosecutors ever being investigated? I can't think of any. Why it's not mandatory is beyond comprehension. Thanks.

BZZM0709 said...

It would seem that their faculties are failing them. Should they be in positions of power? Probably not.
You can be sure they would lie through their teeth to keep the truth from coming out. Would they withhold evidence of innocence to get a conviction in a high profile case? Without a second thought. Williamson County is more interested in conviction rates than it is with justice or the truth.
I hope they get what they deserve.