Over the past month, the surge of undocumented immigrants across the U.S.’s southwestern border—many of them unaccompanied minors and young families—has become one of the biggest and most polarizing stories in the country.
When I first met Michael Morton in the spring of 2012, several months after he was formally exonerated, we met for dinner at an Austin steakhouse and talked about his life since his release from prison. Well-mannered, funny, and self-deprecating, he seemed like the world’s most normal guy, hardly someone who had been wrongly convicted of his wife’s murder and incarcerated for 25 years.
It’s been eight years since the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals found that the DA who prosecuted Anthony Graves for capital murder had done something unconscionable: withheld favorable evidence and used false testimony to secure a conviction—a conviction that sent Graves to death row.
Kelvin Cletus Green sat flanked by City Council members. He was 18 years old but looked much younger, and as Kim Whitsitt — the city secretary who is also Green’s godmother — whispered to him about the next agenda item, a stranger could be forgiven for assuming he was a student shadowing city officials for his civics class.
In Willie’s Words
High school football season’s still eight weeks away. But in Nacogdoches, it’s been fútbol season since June 12. Thanks to native son Clint Dempsey, it’s as if the oldest town in Texas has a team going to “state”—except the team plays soccer for the USA, and state is the World Cup.
The television drama Outlaw Prophet: Warren Jeffs, premiered this weekend on Lifetime, and by our account, it wasn't too bad, as far as Lifetime-produced biopics go.
In 1993, Sonia Cacy was convicted of killing her uncle, Bill Richardson, by dousing him in an accelerant and burning him to death in their home in Fort Stockton. She was sentenced to 99 years, what essentially amounted to life in prison. But six years into her sentence, the parole board released her. Gerald Hurst, a leading fire investigator, had submitted a brief on her behalf, detailing the questionable evidence of arson used by the prosecution against Cacy.
A City’s Pride
The band Fastball is best known for their 1998 mid-tempo hit “The Way,” but last month in Austin, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the University of Texas-area rock club Hole in the Wall, they slammed through several frenzied rockers from their 1996 debut, Make Your Mama Proud, which the group hadn’t played in 15 years. “No wonder we were so skinny back then,” frontman Miles Zuniga joked.