WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas. For Immediate Release. By Cody Salfen. In 1989, Michael Morton was convicted of murdering his wife. Over two decades later and after serving nearly 25 years for the murder, Morton has been exonerated – Michael Morton did not kill his wife and DNA evidence proved it.
The Texas State Bar alleges that Ken Anderson, the lead prosecutor in the 1989 trial that resulted in Morton’s wrongful conviction, concealed evidence and failed to disclose key evidence to Morton’s criminal defense attorney before and during the 1980′s murder trial – both a legal and ethical violation. Ken Anderson is currently facing potential disciplinary action by Texas State Bar in relation to the alleged prosecutorial misconduct. Anderson claims the statute of limitations bars the disciplinary proceedings from moving forward being that the alleged incidents of misconduct occurred over 24 years ago. The judge overseeing the matter has yet to issue a decision on the merits, if any, of Anderson’s statute of limitations claims. To read the full text of the Innocence Project blog post relating to the Texas State Bar proceedings, please see the full text of the article below and related link.
A decision is expected soon on whether Williamson County Prosecutor Ken Anderson will face disciplinary charges for concealing evidence of Michael Morton’s innocence.
During a hearing on Friday afternoon, Anderson’s attorney and the State Bar pressed the court to issue a decision on whether or not Anderson can escape a disciplinary hearing because his alleged misconduct occurred beyond the statute of limitations, reported the Texas Tribune.
Despite a court order and legal obligation to do so, Anderson withheld evidence pointing to the innocence of Morton, who was later exonerated by DNA evidence after serving 25 years for his wife’s murder.
According to Anderson’s lawyer Eric Nichols, the State Bar’s claim is invalid because it was filed more than 24 years after the original trial and because the evidence Anderson is said to have concealed has been held by public entities since 1989.
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, reported the Tribune.
“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.”
District Judge Kelly G. Moore said he will announce his decision by September 9. If the judge allows the State Bar to proceed, , the disciplinary action could proceed by the end of this month.
By Cody Salfen. Cody Salfen is a California licensed private investigator and currently owns an operates Cody S Investigations (www.CodySInvestigations.com) – A California Private Investigation and Private Detective Agency, which focuses on criminal defense investigations, criminal appeals investigations, and various other criminal law and criminal defense related investigations.
Visit the official Cody S Investigations website at www.CodySInvestigations.com or www.CodyPI.com. Alternatively, to speak with a member of the Cody S Investigations private investigation staff or call the Cody S Investigations San Francisco private detective criminal defense staff at 415.932.9278 or 408.313.0109.
Cody S Investigations provides a wide array of private investigation services in the San Francisco bay area, the surrounding areas, and investigative services throughout the State of California. Cody Salfen is a member of the California Association of Licensed Investigators, the Professional Investigators Association of California, the California Defense Investigators Association, the National Council of Investigation and Security Services, and the World Association of Detectives. As a part of his private investigation work, Cody is a court appointed criminal investigator for the indigent defense panels in Santa Clara and Marin Counties – investigating a wide array of criminal offenses.
In addition, Cody founded and operates Cody S & Associates, Inc. (www.CSI-Legal-Services.com) a security training, firearms training, security consulting, and CA Dept. of Justice and FBI approved Live Scan Fingerprinting Services.
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