Saturday, January 4, 2014

Ken Anderson v. Justice for Michael Morton

Corrupt Judge Ken Anderson

Huffington Post reported on November 8, 2013, that for the first time ever, a corrupt prosecutor was going to jail. "Today in Texas, former prosecutor and judge Ken Anderson plead guilty to intentionally failing to disclose evidence in a case that sent an innocent man, Michael Morton, to prison for the murder of his wife. When trying the case as a prosecutor, Anderson possessed evidence that may have cleared Morton, including statements from the crime's only eyewitness that Morton wasn't the culprit. Anderson sat on this evidence, and then watched Morton get convicted. While Morton remained in prison for the next 25 years, Anderson's career flourished, and he eventually became a judge." 

CONGRATULATIONS to Moton's Pro bono attorney John Raley of Houston, Texas, and all members of Morton's legal team! Raley and Nina Morrison of the New York based Innocence Project filed Morton's motion for DNA testing in February 2005. Raley and Morrison relentlessly sought a court order for DNA testing in state and federal courts until the testing was finally achieved in June 2011. Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley "tenaciously fought" DNA testing for six years before a judge finally ordered the tests . . . The same day as Morton's formal acquittal, 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 was then a district judge in Williamson County. (Wikipedia). The legal team is featured below.

Anderson defrauded Texas taxpayers of approximately $782,150, the approximate cost for Morton's incarceration (the Vera Institute of Justice released a study in 2012 that found the average taxpayer cost in the 40 states it assessed was $31,286 per inmate per year). Although the former judge and prosecutor was sentenced to merely 10 days behind bars for his crime, he was fined $500 and must do 500 hours of community service. Most importantly, Anderson lost his law license. One might assume that Anderson will now face a lawsuit by Morton. His mugshot is below:

Anderson's mugshot

The Courier of Montgomery County reports:

Morton was charged with killing his wife, Christine, who was found beaten to death in the couple’s bed in 1986. During a 1987 pretrial hearing, Anderson did not reveal two pieces of evidence that would have strengthened the case being made by Morton’s defense attorneys that a stranger had killed Christine Morton.

One piece of evidence was a transcript of Christine Morton’s mother telling investigators that the Mortons’ 3-year-old son had witnessed his mother’s murder. The boy told his grandmother his father wasn’t home when his mother was killed, and he indicated another man had killed his mother. In addition, Anderson kept from defense attorneys a police report about the driver of a green van who had been seen walking behind the Mortons’ house on several occasions before Christine Morton’s murder.
Michael Morton sits beside his mother, Patricia Morton, during an emotional press conference after a judge
agreed to release him on personal bond after he spent nearly 25 years in prison for the murder of his wife. 
Morton was exonerated in 2011 after DNA testing on a bandanna found near his home connected Mark Alan Norwood to Christine Morton’s murder. A jury in San Angelo convicted Norwood in March of killing Christine Morton and sentenced him to life in prison. Norwood also has been charged with the 1988 beating death of Debra Baker in her Austin home.

Barry Scheck, the co-founder of the Innocence Project, which has been instrumental in uncovering wrongful convictions, announced that other cases prosecuted by Anderson will be reopened and examined for hidden evidence.
http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/courier/opinion/ken-anderson-s-fall-a-lesson-for-prosecutors/article_563c4e8e-00ab-501a-87d0-23f846329285.html

Mark Alan Norwood, Christine Morton's murderer

The "ETHICAL RULE ORDER" could reduce prosecutorial misconduct that leads to wrongful convictions. The Huffington Post reports: "All judges, state and federal, should issue the standing "ethical rule order" proposed by the Hon. Nancy Gertner and Innocence Project Co-Founder Barry Scheck. The proposed order requires prosecutors to disclose, pre-trial, all evidence that "tends to negate the guilt of the accused or mitigates the offense." Details regarding the proposed ethical rule order, including all the justifications supporting it, can be found in this article by Barry Scheck."

Michael Morton, son, and first wife, Christine 

The awful fact that Morton's son probably witnessed his mother's murder probably saved him from wondering all these years if his father was her killer. That is not true for many survivors who spend decades thinking innocent people killed their loved ones, while the real murderers walk among us. Christine Morton and those who loved her finally got justice when Mark Norwood was arrested for her murder and her widow was freed. Congratulations, Michael Morton and family!

John Raley, Esq. (right) and his exonerated client, Michael Morton
Attorney Raley's Email - jraley@raleybowick.com
RALEY & BOWICK LLP, 1800 Augusta Dr. 300, Houston, TX 77057
Phone: (713) 429-8050 | FAX: (713) 429-8045

JOHN RALEY is a trial lawyer with 25 years of courtroom experience. He has tried cases in a wide variety of areas, including intellectual property, legal malpractice, products liability, hospital and physician malpractice, pharmaceutical claims, chemical exposure, industrial accidents, railroad accidents, securities and common law fraud, wrongful termination, malicious prosecution, and general commercial litigation. He has over 30 victorious first chair verdicts, and has handled over 150 mediations as lead counsel. John has defended many cases involving multi-million dollar claims, and as plaintiff’s counsel, obtained multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements for his clients. He has argued many times before Texas courts of appeal, and he took the lead presenting a landmark case before the Texas Supreme Court. Attorney John Raley Discusses the Extraordinary Exoneration of Michael Morton and the Joys of Working Pro Bono at an article called "‘The Most Important Reason We Have Law Licenses," published in the Texas Center for Legal Ethics at this url - http://www.legalethicstexas.com/Spotlight-on-Ethics/Profiles-in-Professionalism/John-Raley.aspx

John obtained his B.A., with highest honors, from the University of Oklahoma, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and played varsity football. He obtained his J.D. at Oklahoma University, where he served as Note Editor of the Law Review and received The Order of Barristers Award. He attended the University of Aberdeen, Scotland on a Rotary Fellowship and obtained an L.L.M. in International Law. 

Nina Morrison laughs with her client, delight with their victory

NINA MORRISON is a senior staff attorney for the Innocence Project who litigates claims for access to post-conviction DNA evidence from around the nation, under both federal civil rights laws and state DNA testing statutes. She also supervises students in the Innocence Project clinic. Ms. Morrison is a 1992 graduate of Yale University and a 1998 graduate of New York University School of Law, where she was a Root-Tilden-Snow Public Service Scholar. See her bio at this url: http://www.innocenceproject.org/Content/Nina_Morrison.php


BARRY SCHECK the co-founder and co-director of the Innocence Project, a national organization that uses DNA testing to exonerate wrongfully convicted people and implements policy reforms to prevent future injustice. Founded in 1988 under the auspices of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, the Innocence Project has exonerated hundreds through post-conviction DNA testing.  http://www.innocenceproject.org/

GERALD H. GOLDSTEIN
San Antonio, Texas
Partner at Goldstein, Goldstein & Hilley
phone: 210-226-1463
800-226-6465 (Toll Free)
fax: 210-226-8367
Email Me ggandh@aol.com

Gerald “Gerry” Harris Goldstein is a nationally known and respected defense lawyer and Past President of both the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America and Texas Lawyer’s Legal Legends, has been profiled in numerous publications, has served as an adjunct professor of law at University of Texas School of Law in Austin and at St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, and is a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He is also Board Certified in Criminal Law.


CYNTHIA EVA HUJAR ORR 
Associate at Goldstein, Goldstein & Hilley
phone: 210-226-1463
800-226-6465 (Toll Free)
fax: 210-226-8367
Email Me  - WhiteCollarLaw@gmail.com

Orr has attained national prominence defending citizens and entities in state and federal trial and appellate courts. She is currently the President of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (term starts August ’09) and Past President of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. She is on the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Council.

A trailer to a CNN documentary about Morton's case is online at a YouTube url:
http://youtu.be/fY2wyAN3zg8 ~ "An Unreal Dream: The Michael Morton Story"

Congratulations to everyone who worked for Michael Morton's exoneration and Ken Anderson's removal from the bench. It is a legal victory for the entire nation. Wikipedia reports that on May 16, 2013, Governor of Texas Rick Perry signed Texas Senate Bill 1611, also called the Michael Morton Act, into law. The Act is designed to ensure a more open discovery process, effective January 1, 2014. The bill's open file policy removes barriers for accessing evidence. Morton was present for the signing of the bill.
Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Morton_(criminal_justice)

It has been estimated that between 5,000 and 10,000 innocent people are convicted every year http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/ronhuff.htm. People who care about liberty and justice congratulate the legal professionals above who helped to correct a major failure in the system and to hold Judge Ken Anderson responsible for his psychopathic disregard for innocence. Hopefully, Anderson's indictment and disbarment will begin America's purging of numerous district attorneys and judges who should not serve as officers of the court.

Call or write with information about legal victories you wish to highlight
MaryLovesJustice@gmail.com or (678) 531.0262.
Hurry. Once my justice quest ends, so does my advocacy work.
Messages will be responded to within 24 hours unless they are cyberstalked.
I endure huge First Amendment violations disclosed in Justice Gagged blog
http://JusticeGagged.blogspot.com
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2 comments:

  1. The Innocent Project saves lives. Congratulations. I read this article with hope that I can get some help in a Federal case in Northern Illinois. I am a destitute Dr. Spent 74 days in solitary, ended up with a stroke & my Federal case has languished in court for 2 1/2 yrs. Have documented destroyed CD evidence by the FBI, AUSA witholding police report evidence, did not tell us surveillance cameras at clinic caught the break in on film. This CI/heroin addict broke in, did not take money from open drawer nor 9 computers, but his chart disappeared and replaced with blank forms. My lawyer does refuses to ask for a special court of inquiry or special prosecutor. Cannot afford another attorney. (cperalesmd1@hotmail.com).

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  2. You have a caption under a photo that reads "Corrupt Judge Ken Anderson". That photo is NOT Judge Ken Anderson. You better do some research.

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