Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Michael Morton speaking out

The Texas Tribune and KXAN news in Austin each have interviews with Michael Morton, who's making the rounds in the media, apparently, after breaking his cherry with a national splash on 60 Minutes Sunday night.
For those in Austin, Mr. Morton will be speaking on a panel Thursday at the UT law school at 1:30 p.m. about prosecutorial misconduct (see more detail in the second half of this post), which will be his first public speaking engagement to my knowledge since his exoneration. The event is part of a "national dialogue in the wake of Connick v. Thompson," an effort launched earlier this year by the national Innocence Project and the Veritas Initiative. See more detail at a website created to support this public education effort.


Lee said...

Send Ken anderson strait to hell!!!!

Does anyone seriously believe that the Morton case is Mr. Anderson or Mr. Bradley's only sin? the only thing they are sorry about is that they got caught. Why are we not looking over the rest of their histories? Who knows what we will find? I bet $100 of my money to $10 of Andersons money on all of his cases that this is just the tip of the iceburg and that there will be misconduct in the rest of his cases. (I may take a few hits on this bet but I am sure that I would be able to count those on a single hand, I would not need the whole hand and I would still come out on top.)

dfisher said...

There is no doubt Anderson's withholding of evidence in Morton's trial went a long way to getting him convicted, but the Travis CO. ME Bayardo's testimony was the last nail in the conviction.

Now 26 yrs. later Williamson County is going to try to reuse Bayardo's autopsy report to prosecute Norwood for the same crime. The problem that will confront the State this time is the history of the Travis Co. ME's Office and Bayardo's Curriculum Vitae.

In 1978 the Travis Co. Commissioners Court offered Roberto Bayardo the position of Chief medical Examiner based on his claim that he was the Harris CO. Deputy Chief ME and had been since 1977. Bayardo further claimed he was an assistant Harris Co. ME from 1976 to 77 and he was board certified in forensic pathology, the minimum condition to apply for the position.

During a recent conversation with the Harris CO. First Assistant Criminal District Attorney Jim Lietner, who has been with the DA's office since 1976, it was disclosed Bayardo was never a Harris Co. Medical Examiner much less the deputy chief.

This fact was confirmed again the second week of September last year, when during a conversation with Assistant Harris County Attorney Nicholas Lycos, brother of current DA Pat Lycos, that Bayardo was never a Harris CO. Medical Examiner period.

Further review of Bayardo's records showed he was not board certified in forensic pathology the year of his hire, so he lied here too.

Now if this isn't enough, Bayardo and Travis CO. hid this from defendants for 29 yrs. through a scam with the former chief medical examiner of Houston. The scam worked this way. Bayardo would perform the autopsy in high profile murder cases, but have the autopsy reports typed in the name of a Harris Co. MEs, suggesting those MEs came to Travis Co. and performed the autopsy, which they didn't. Now since the Harris Co. MEs weren't here to do the autopsies, they couldn't very well sign the Autopsy report, so Bayardo would scribble his signature above the Typed name of the Harris CO. MEs. This left the autopsy allegedly performed by the Harris CO. MEs unverified.

After several years of pulling the records from the Travis CO. ME's Office, I found some 1,200 autopsy reports typed in the names of various Harris Co. ME's that were never verified by them.

Now here's the rub, in 1986, the year Bayardo performed the Morton autopsy, he performed three autopsies in murder cases, only these were typed in the name of Harris CO. ME's. Two of the three defendants have since been executed based on perjured testimony by Bayardo, and the third was found not guilty last year. The names of the three defendants with unverified autopsy reports in their files are, Jonathan Nobles executed in 1998, John William Elliott executed in 2003, and Jimmy Dale White found not guilty in 2011.

Some other high profile murder cases where the autopsy reports were unverified include Luis Castro Perez on Death row 1999, Rodney Reed on death row 1998, Gerald Zuliani who served 10 years, and last the Yogurt Shop murder defendants Robert Springsteen, and Michael Scott.

The only thing that can keep Bayardo's record out of the Norwood's trial is his Williamson Co. Court appointed Attorney.

Thomas R. Griffith said...

Hey Grits, thanks for finally mentioning the Prosecutorial Oversight: A National Dialogue tour.

Sadly, since it's being held during the middle of a work day & gas is $4 bucks a gallon many won't be in attendance. Which only leaves room for students & folks in the area. Hopefully you'll show up and take notes for the left out crowd.

Another sad point is that none of the 'Speakers' invited & listed are on the non-DNA, non-Death Row, Closed/Inactive cases bandwagon. Similar to a rock concert featuring - 50tycent. But as the sad old saying goes, at least it's a start. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

He spoke at Yale a couple weeks ago. I think he's done a few law schools.