Friday, August 30, 2013

New following seasonal break: Ken Anderson. (Michael Morton's former prosecutor); Lawyers for Anderson and for the Bar Association make their case; Judge to deliver decision in a week to 10 days. Texas Tribune;

STORY: "State bar, Anderson attornies make case to judge," by reporter Alexa Ura, published by the Texas Tribune on August 30, 2013.

GIST: "Anderson fell under scrutiny after Morton’s lawyers discovered evidence they allege he deliberately withheld in the case. The evidence includes a phone call transcript in which Morton’s mother-in-law recounted to police a conversation with her grandson who said he saw a monster — not his father — beat his mother to death. Morton was not home at the time of the beating and neighbors reported seeing a man in a green van parked in front of the Morton home several times before the crime. After a 10-month investigation, the State Bar filed a grievance against Anderson. Anderson, now a state district judge, has denied allegations of professional misconduct. The State Bar’s attorney, Laura Bayouth Popps, argued that Anderson’s files on the Morton investigation were not public record and could not have been obtained by a public information request within the timeframe of the statute of limitations. “By virtue of being the lead prosecutor, Mr. Anderson had a constitutional and ethical duty to disclose this,” Popps said. “This does not take hiding the evidence in the attic or putting it in the trunk. All we have to show is that he had a duty to disclose and he didn’t.” Popps also argued that the statute of limitations does not apply, alleging that Anderson's efforts to conceal the evidence were ongoing, not a one-time offense. “We would have liked to try this. We also would have liked for Mr. Morton not to have spent 25 years in prison,” Popps said. “Because of the fraud and concealment that took place here, no one was able to try this case any sooner.” Morton served almost 25 years after he was sentenced to life in prison for the August 1986 murder of his wife Christine Morton. He was released in 2011 after DNA testing on a bloody bandana found near the crime scene linked the death to another man, Mark Alan Norwood who was found guilty earlier this year. District Judge Kelly G. Moore, the judge presiding over the Anderson case, said he will announce his decision in a week or 10 days. If Moore denies the requests for summary judgment, the case could proceed to a jury trial by as early as Sept. 30."

The entire story can be found at:

Wikipedia entry: (Michael Morton); Morton was formally acquitted by Bexar County District Judge Sid Harle on December 19, 2011. On the same day, Morton's attorneys (including Raley, Morrison, Barry Scheck of the Innocence Project, and Gerald Goldstein and Cynthia Orr of San Antonio) asked Harle to order a "court of inquiry" into the actions of Anderson, who is now a district judge in Williamson County. A court of inquiry is a special court that investigates allegations of misconduct by elected officials in Texas.  Morton has accused Anderson of failing to provide defense lawyers with exculpatory evidence indicating that another man might have killed Morton's wife, including information that his 3-year-old son witnessed the murder and said his dad was not home at the time. Morton's attorneys discovered this evidence while preparing a final appeal, and were able to get Anderson and others involved in the investigation deposed under oath. On February 20, 2012; Harle asked the Texas Supreme Court to convene a court of inquiry, finding that there was evidence to support Morton's contention that Anderson had tampered with evidence and should have been held in contempt of court for not complying with the trial judge's order to let him review all possible exculpatory evidence. The court of inquiry began on February 4, 2013. If it finds that there is reason to believe Anderson broke the law, Anderson could potentially face charges that carry up to 10 years in prison. On April 19, 2013, the court of inquiry ordered Anderson to be arrested, saying “This court cannot think of a more intentionally harmful act than a prosecutor’s conscious choice to hide mitigating evidence so as to create an uneven playing field for a defendant facing a murder charge and a life sentence.” 


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