Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Judge Ken Anderson faces litigation on civil, criminal fronts based on Michael Morton false conviction

Brandi Grissom at the Texas Tribune runs down Williamson County  District Judge Ken Anderson's response to misconduct allegations from the State Bar, noting that his arguments regarding the statute of limitations on such proceedings inevitably presage the judge's focus at the upcoming Court of Inquiry beginning December 10. Wrote Grissom:
The State Bar conducted a 10-month investigation after a grievance was filed against Anderson in the case.

The State Bar’s Commission for Lawyer Discipline wrote in its lawsuit against Anderson that he knew of the evidence and withheld it. The lawsuit also alleges that Anderson made a false statement to the court when he told the judge he had no evidence that could support Morton’s claims of innocence.

His conduct, the State Bar commission wrote, violated five of the state’s disciplinary rules of professional conduct.

Those rules, though, come with a statute of limitations: “No attorney licensed to practice law in Texas may be disciplined for Professional Misconduct occurring more than four years before the time when the allegation of Professional Misconduct is brought to the attention of the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel, except in cases in which disbarment or suspension is compulsory.”

The statute of limitations doesn’t begin to run in cases of concealment — like what is alleged in the Morton case — until the alleged misconduct “is discovered or should have been discovered.”
The court of inquiry is coming up quick and will be quite the denouement, short of any legislative action next spring, to Michael Morton's long and breathtakingly awful ordeal. I admit not knowing quite what to expect at this unique event, though thanks to an earlier Trib report we know the proceedings will be public.


Lee said...

It is sick that he would be able to hide behind a legal technicality rather than face justice. As I have said many times before, law and justice are two completely separate industries.

Grits do you think there is any value to the statute of limitations defence?

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Possibly, in theory, depending on what Morton's defense counsel knew, and when. I haven't seen the pleadings to know exactly what was argued. But in general, since the evidence was concealed, by my reading the statute of limitations shouldn't begin tolling until it was discovered, which if memory serves was in 2008, making this well within the SOL.

Anonymous said...

Thank God! Could it be that we’re finally glimpsing accountability for Texas District Attorneys? So that ‘justice could really be for all?
[Note: There are fabulous district attorneys who would never violate the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure , the Texas Penal Code or any other code that governs their office. Those aren’t the ones I’m talking about. I am only addressing those disreputable district attorneys who intentionally break the rules to procure a conviction regardless of innocence]. When I saw that Anderson was being examined, I was thrilled that folks were beginning to listen.
Hopefully, the State Bar will step up, this time, when reviewing the Anderson case, and not have a replay of their decisions of the Tulia, Texas debacle where in 6/2004, where then Swisher County DA, Terry McEachern successfully railroaded 39 innocent African Americans into drug convictions.
Once wrong doings were uncovered, the State Bar of Texas filed a civil petition against McEachern alleging he engaged in misconduct in the prosecution of the cases. [does this sound familiar?]. McEachern, could have faced punishment ranging from censure to disbarment, but he and the State Bar's disciplinary commission were able to reach an agreement.
The agreement suspended McEachern's license to practice law for two years, but the suspension was probated, meaning that McEachern continued to practice as long as he abided by the agreement.
According to the agreement, McEachern had to obey all laws and rules governing attorney conduct and pay $6,225 in attorneys' fees or his probation would be revoked and the suspension would have been activated. Wow! A whole $6,225.00 for wrongly convicting 38 innocent persons.
We need to wake up!!! The biggest mistake that Americans make is believing that the all of the district attorneys in this state are on the same moral and ethical page of understanding and interpreting the law. It is a bad and incorrect assumption! Like I said earlier, there are honorable DA’s, but there are those who are not!
The point is this: We need to see this problem for what it is, and stop being blinded by the empty promise of ‘ fair justice for all’. Until the American people demand ‘accountability’ for district attorneys across this country, the number of innocent people, like Michael Morton, the Tulia 39, as well as the more than 300 exonerated innocent persons throughout this country, to date, will continue to grow.

Former Dallas Police Officer
Former TCLEOSE instructor

Anonymous said...

Thank God that the Morton case was discovered. The opportunity for the change can be at least one positive points from this tragedy. However, the Texas State Bar has repeatedly passed up the opportunity to make a real difference. Makes me wonder if Texas State Bar is even more responsible for some of the problems we experience with the DAs who ae unethical...they obviously believe that they have almost no chance of being caught and if they are the consequences they face are not appropriate for the crime....ironic since the folks doing all this generally have quiet a superior attitude when the rules apply to general citizens. While I believe that all people should be responsible for their actions, it does not seem to be that way and has not for a very long time until disclosure of a case or cases extreme in nature and actions are uncovered. I wonder what we as citizens can do to affect the Texas State Bar and their actions....looks like to me they need the same scrunity as Ken Anderson. They have to be accountable to the Texas Citizens.

Thomas R. Griffith said...

Hey Grits, it’s a mystery as to exactly when & why “we the people” started allowing DAs & their ADAs to blatantly break the law without any consequences in order to seek justice (clear cases). It became a sick joke when we allowed them to have a voice regarding the (Post Conviction) ‘Evidence’ that’s: *collected, *cataloged, *tested & *presented at trial for a jury to utilize in their final decision (verdict). It becomes a F-Story when two or more believe in the concept of allowing attorneys’ / lawyers’ to police & punish each other.

We don’t allow the Fox to guard the henhouse because common sense tells us it’s a recipe for disaster but at the same time we have no problem(s) allowing: *law enforcement & *DA Offices to collectively Police & Punish their own. I predict he’ll be golfing / fishing with the very MoFos’ that produce the side-show in December. Thanks.

Q. What would it take to abolish the State Bar's ability to participate in the investigation & discipline of criminals (colleagues’) and assign the Attorney Gens. Office & the DOJ with the co-responsibility?

Jim Howard said...

The Morton case is yet another case of the government going out of control and ruining an ordinary person's life.

It happens every day.

The bigger and more powerful the government, the more it happens.

Since we as a country just ratified unlimited government power over individuals (except in the cases of abortion and medical marijuana) expect many thousands more individual lives to be ruined by unaccountable government officals.

rodsmith said...

I'm with you Thomas!

I'm still waiting to see a govt job discrition that is not written for a deep cover agent in someplace like russia or red china with the following on it

"You are allowed to lie, cheat, steal, comit fraud, purguery and any other felony with no punishment"

sorry no lawyer can convince me a DA's has it.

So as far as i'm concierned if it's illeg if I do it. It's illegal if they do.

Anonymous said...

Maybe one crook gone, but thousands just like him are still ready, willing and able to take our lives away just because they can. ALL of these worthless humans need to be put out of service forever.

Lee said...

Far better to die in the land of the free than to live in the Soviet Union or China!

Anonymous said...

you did't mention hitler this time. what up? you slippin?

Anonymous said...

"Far better to die in the land of the free than to live in the Soviet Union or China!"

Are we really still the land of the free?

rodsmith said...

well 8:50 for one thing it's been proven over and over and over and over and over and over

those stupid enough to forget history are doomed to REPEAT it so remembering a psycho like Hitler and how he came to power is necessary.

As for this criminal fucktard i would never call him hitler. A useless Hitler wannabee maybe. But never hitler.

there did i use "hitler" enough? You happy?

Johnson said...

It is great story,
I read it very attentively, that was very interesting.
Medical Litigation

Fat Bastardo said...

If I were this corrupt judge I'd worry about some do it yourself justice.