My apologies to change the post. Jonathan S. previously posted this topic. As moderator, I made a decision to remove the post in order to keep us safe from accusations of violating terms of service and fair use. This is part of self policing, but also part of moderator's role. The topic was important and moving, and thank you Jonathan for presenting this topic.
from NPR.org Michael Morton was freed after 25 years of imprisonment for the murder of his wife. The DA made up a story that Morton murdered his wife and masturbated on her corpse. Fingerprint evidence and blood evidence were withheld. There was DNA evidence and verbal evidence from his under 4-year old child, who witnessed the murder. 25 years later, a bloody bandana was finally analyzed, demonstrating DNA of the murder victim and her actual killer, but not Morton. The actual killer went on to commit at least one other murder of a young wife and mother.
The DA in the case is now a state judge. A state judge who, in this case, appears to have manufactured a scenario that got an innocent man put away for a generation, and withheld evidence from the judge and defense.
Important to note the intro to the article - more than 40 men have been exonerated in Texas in the past few years. Also, Texas has by far the highest execution rate in the USA.
One thing that offends me greatly is, rather than contrition, the former DA Anderson stated " I want to apologize for the system's failure to Mr. Morton and to every other person who was adversely affected by this verdict." The system's failure. Bullshit - based on the evidence presented here, Anderson railroaded Morton, and added another step to his career. This is shameful, and his trying to sidestep the blame for his actions is equally shameful.
Again, my apologies to Jonathan for reposting his topic and removing the original.
I'm glad this discussion is back. I have no problem with the change in post. As for the issue at hand, I think prosecutors that engage in this kind of abuse should be prosecuted. People have to be sent to jail for knowingly ignoring evidence and willingly sending innocent people to prison.
Jonathan, I agree he should be tried and put into jail. At the very least, he should no longer be a judge and he should lose his license, and pay restitution. With DNA evidence, we see many cases of wrongful conviction. The ones I have read about were basically railroading. In this case, it took years of effort to get the critical piece of evidence, the blood soaked bandana, to be tested, and the real victim, who was in jail, was ridiculed and unsuccessfully coerced into admitting guilt. The crime continued for years after the conviction. Really bad.
Disbarred, jailed, ordered to pay restitution - all of that agreed. But the real problem with prosecution misconduct is exactly what happened here. More victims.
Prosecutors are vested with an incredible amount of power. The exercise of that power, I might add, is discretionary and often unfettered. I know. I used to be a prosecutor. I once had a judge tell a defendant in Court that the most powerful person in the courtroom was not he (the judge). Instead, he pointed to me. He was right.
With great power comes great responsibility. And, the abuse of that responsibility should come with equally grave consequences.
Never having been in a courtroom, this is all new to me. At this point, I never want to be in a courtroom.
We can't forget the way the prosecutor refused to consider any additional evidence. Ignoring what the son had to say was terrible. I'm not saying that the kid's word should have been trusted from the start but it needed to be investigated. They just wantd to nail the first possible suspect.