The news last Friday that former Williamson County district judge Ken Anderson would have to serve jail time and forfeit his law license for withholding exculpatory evidence in the Michael Morton case was initially heralded as historic and unprecedented.
Michael Morton approached the witness box. It was a bright, clear morning in March, and a few dozen family members, journalists, and curious onlookers had gathered at the Tom Green County courthouse, in San Angelo, a grand, columned monument to justice built in 1928 at the height of an oil boom. Sunlight spilled into the courtroom, which had been meticulously restored to its original splendor, complete with a decorative relief on the ceiling of an enormous sunflower. Michael took his seat, his posture ramrod-straight.
This afternoon, Michael Morton received a long-awaited measure of justice when the inquiry into alleged misconduct in the 1987 trial that resulted in his wrongful conviction ended with a stinging rebuke to the man who prosecuted him. State district Judge Louis Sturns, who presided over the court of inquiry, ruled that Ken Anderson—the former D.A. of Williamson County who prosecuted Michael—should face criminal charges for his conduct.
Judge Ken Anderson took the stand Friday to defend himself on the last day of the court of inquiry into alleged prosecutorial misconduct in the Morton case. The former Williamson County D.A.
The third day of the court of inquiry into alleged prosecutorial misconduct in the Michael Morton case began with st
Twenty-six years ago this month, Michael Morton sat inside a Williamson County courtroom, accused of murdering his wife, Christine, while then-D.A. Ken Anderson argued passionately before the jury that the Austin grocery store manager should be convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Yesterday, the roles were reversed. This time, it was Anderson—now a state district judge—who sat at the defense table.
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.
Although Michael Morton was formally exonerated last year of his wife’s murder and released from prison after nearly 25 years behind bars, he has made few public comments until now. On Sunday night, in a 60 Minutes exclusive, he spoke to CBS correspondent Lara Logan about his ordeal.
This Sunday, 60 Minutes’ Lara Logan tells the story of Michael Morton, who spent 25 years in jail after being wrongly convicted of the murder of his wife, Christine. It’s the first major interview given by the exonerated former Williamson County resident since his release on October 4, 2011.
Below, a short preview, including footage from the day that Morton was convicted, as well as from the day that he was finally released:
State Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson has appointed Fort Worth Judge Louis E. Sturns to oversee the court of inquiry into whether former Williamson County DA Ken Anderson broke the law when he sent Michael Morton, an innocent man, to prison back in 1987.