TX: Anderson - February hearing set in Morton case
Wed Jan 25, 2012 15:43
February hearing set in Morton case By Chuck Lindell | Tuesday, January 24, 2012, 03:59 PM
District Judge Sid Harle has scheduled a Feb. 10 hearing on Michael Morton’s request for a special court to review allegations that former Williamson County district attorney Ken Anderson hid evidence to ensure Morton’s guilty verdict for murder.
Morton was declared innocent of the crime last fall, and freed after serving almost 25 years in prison,after DNA tests pointed to another man for the 1987 murder of his wife, Christine, in their Williamson County home. Mark Norwood, a dishwasher in Bastrop, has been charged with capital murder in Christine Morton’s death. Norwood, through his lawyer, has denied the charge.
Saying recently discovered evidence indicates that Anderson intentionally hid information that could have spared Morton from prison, Morton’s lawyers have asked Harle to seek a court of inquiry to examine the allegations. Courts of inquiry, often used to examine allegations of official misconduct, are led by an appointed district judge who can subpoena and question witnesses to determine if state laws were broken.
Anderson has denied wrongdoing in the Morton case and has opposed the creation of a court of inquiry. Mark Dietz, Anderson’s lawyer, said today that he did not believe Harle had the authority to hold a hearing in the case. “You need a cause number in existence to hold a hearing, but that case and that cause number were extinguished by the order dismissing the charges,” he said.
In addition, the Texas Supreme Court order appointing Harle “made it clear it was only for the (Morton) case,” Dietz said. Harle replaced District Judge Billy Ray Stubblefield of Georgetown in August after Stubblefield recused himself from the Morton case without explanation.
Anderson may challenge Harle’s authority to continue the case before or during the hearing, Dietz said. “We are still pondering.”
Harle signed the order dismissing all charges against Morton on Dec. 19.
Nina Morrison, one of Morton’s lawyers, said Harle’s authority to act does not depend on the continuation of Morton’s case.
“The court of inquiry statute gives every single district judge in the state the authority to (act), if the court finds probable cause to believe that one or more state laws have been violated,” said Morrison, senior staff attorney for the Innocence Project of New York.
If Harle agrees to seek a court if inquiry, his request would be reviewed by the Texas Supreme Court, Morrison said. If the court agrees, it would name a district judge - state law exempts Harle from the appointment - to lead the special court.
This article is just plain idiocy. No one wants "someone" to pay. We want "the guilty party" to pay. If the evidence finds that DA, now, Judge Anderson, intentionally witheld the evidence, as it... more
Board dismisses complaint against Bradley in Morton case By Chuck Lindell | Tuesday, April 24, 2012, 11:20 AM An appeals board has dismissed a complaint alleging that Williamson County District... more
TX: Anderson - February hearing set in Morton case Petra.,Wed Jan 25 15:43
March 26, 2012 On "60 Minutes," Exoneree Seeks Accountability by Brandi Grissom Michael Morton, who spent 25 years in prison wrongfully convicted of his wife's murder, told Lara Logan of CBS's 60... more
Video is at: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-57403923/evidence-of-innocence-the-case-of-michael-morton/?tag=contentMain;cbsCarousel March 25, 2012 7:22 PM Evidence of Innocence: The case of... more
Rusty Hardin Picked For Prosecutor In Morton Case • by Morgan Smith March 13, 2012 Houston criminal defense lawyer Rusty Hardin will be the special prosecutor in the court of inquiry looking into... more
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 Anderson inquiry in Williamson County slowed until June By Chuck Lindell | AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF The court of inquiry examining former Williamson County prosecutor Ken... more
Did prosecutors suppress evidence in Morton case? Copyright 2012: Houston Chronicle Published 07:46 p.m., Friday, January 13, 2012 Opinion Texas has the distinction of having more convicts exonerated ... more
Bar dismisses Bradley complaint in Morton case By Chuck Lindell | Tuesday, January 3, 2012, 11:39 AM The State Bar of Texas has dismissed a complaint alleging that Williamson County District Attorney ... more
Monday, March 26, 2012 | Houston Chronicle Retrials offer some a path off death row By Brian Rogers Death penalty trials, beginning with weeks of hand-picking jurors, continuing through relentless... more
Hundreds of cases to be reviewed because of errors by crime lab worker By Brian Rogers and Anita Hassan Published 01:47 p.m., Tuesday, May 1, 2012 Harris County District Attorney Pat Lykos has asked... more
Editorial: Death penalty on the wane Published: 29 December 2011 08:03 PM Use of the death penalty is losing favor with more and more Americans, and for good reasons, those undeniably being (a)... more