Michael Morton Update: The Court of Inquiry Begins

Ken Anderson, the former Williamson County D.A. who prosecuted Michael, will essentially go on trial as the subject of a “court of inquiry,” an arcane legal procedure used to investigate possible wrongdoing by state officials.
Mon February 4, 2013 6:00 am

This week, the next chapter of one of Texas’s most unsettling murder cases will be written. As I chronicled in last year’s two-part article “ The Innocent Man,” Michael Morton was wrongly convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison after his wife, Christine, was bludgeoned to death in their Williamson County home in 1986. Michael, an Austin grocery store manager, always insisted he was innocent. Then, in 2011, DNA testing of a bandana that was found near the crime scene identified an unknown man’s biological material intermingled with Christine’s blood. The DNA was later identified as that of drifter Mark Alan Norwood. Michael was subsequently exonerated and freed after nearly 25 years in prison. Norwood was arrested and will be tried for Christine’s murder this March.

First, though, a different sort of legal proceeding will take place—one that will essentially put Ken Anderson, the former Williamson County D.A. who prosecuted Michael, on trial. Starting on Monday, Anderson will be the subject of a “court of inquiry,” an arcane legal procedure unique to Texas that can be used to investigate wrongdoing, most often on the part of state officials. It has never been used before to probe allegations of prosecutorial misconduct. The unprecedented legal proceeding will

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