Michael Morton’s Prosecutor Enters Plea to Contempt for Misconduct
Posted: November 8, 2013 5:30 pm
Today, former Williamson County District Attorney Ken Anderson entered a plea to criminal contempt for deliberately withholding exculpatory evidence pointing to the innocence of Michael Morton, who was exonerated by DNA evidence in 2011 after serving 25 years for his wife’s murder. Anderson, who sent Governor Rick Perry a letter of resignation on September 23rd, will receive 10 days in Williamson County Jail, a $500 fine, 500 hours of community service and will surrender his license to practice law. This marks an extremely rare instance, and perhaps the first time, that a prosecutor has been criminally punished for failing to turn over exculpatory evidence.
The Associated Press reported that Morton was sitting in the front row of the courtroom’s gallery watching as his former prosecutor sat at the defense table.
“‘In a case like this, sometimes it’s hard to say what meets the ends of justice and what doesn’t. There is no way that anything we can do here today can resolve the tragedy that occurred in these matters,” Judge Kelly G. Moore said Friday. “I’d like to say to Mr. Morton, the world is a better place because of you.’”
When the hearing was adjourned, Morton smiled as he was embraced by his family.
I believe the punishment did not fit the DA's crime. I know this will not deter others who have and do the same.