Michael Hall graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1979 with a degree in government. He wrote for various publications, including Trouser Press, Third Coast Magazine, the Austin American-Statesman, and the Austin Chronicle. In 1997 he joined Texas Monthly, where he has won two Texas Gavel Awards from
the State Bar of Texas and three Stephen Philbin Awards from the Dallas Bar Association. He was named the CRMA’s Writer of the Year in 2015. Hall’s stories have appeared in The Best American Magazine Writing, The Best American Sports Writing, The Best American Nonrequired Reading, Da Capo Best Music Writing, the
New York Times, and Men’s
Journal
. Hall is also a musician and has played in Austin bands such as
Wild Seeds, the Setters, the Lollygaggers, and the Savage Trip.

Articles by Michael Hall

Criminal Justice
The Outcast

Oct 21, 2015 By Michael Hall

A dark incident almost twenty years ago put Greg Torti on the sex offender registry for life. But the real story, he insists, is much more complicated.

Chat
True Grits

Jul 23, 2015 By Michael Hall

Innocence Project of Texas executive director Scott Henson says his organization is about more than DNA evidence.

The Playlist

Mar 23, 2015 By Texas Monthly and Michael Hall

Oh, the endless arguments about Texas music. But don’t feel the need to master it—no one really can. Instead, here are ten songs to help you hold your own at almost any party. 

Plains Sound

Feb 12, 2015 By Michael Hall

Twenty-year-old Hayden Pedigo is making the most innovative, audacious music in the country. So why is he still in Amarillo? 

The Reformer

Jan 9, 2015 By Michael Hall

Texas’s criminal justice system has seen some staggering changes in the past decade. Thank Cathy Cochran. 

Man on Fire

Nov 13, 2014 By Michael Hall

The Reverend Charles Moore ardently dedicated his life to the service of God and his fellow man. But when he couldn’t shake the thought that he hadn’t done enough, he drove to a desolate parking lot in his hometown of Grand Saline for one final act of faith.

Criminal Justice
Wrongfully Convicted Grandma Freed

Nov 27, 2013 By Michael Hall

After Fran Keller spent 21 years in prison based on allegations by children who said they were sexually abused in a satanic ritual at her and her husband's day care, she was finally released.

The San Antonio 4 Are Finally Free

Nov 19, 2013 By Michael Hall

Four women spent more than thirteen years in prison because of bad science and scurrilous tales told by children who had been coached by an adult. They’re free now, but who else is sitting behind bars based on these types of false accusations?

Criminal Justice
Pardon Me, Mr. President

Sep 17, 2013 By Michael Hall

Dear Mr. President: Richard LaFuente just filed a petition for executive clemency. I urge you to read it—and to commute his life sentence.

The Man Who Fell to Earth

Feb 12, 2013 By Michael Hall

After decades as one of the most admired athletes on the planet and one of the toughest competitors ever to ride a bike, Lance Armstrong is facing a new challenge: how to come back from a very public disgrace.

The Last Man Exonerated

Jan 21, 2013 By Michael Hall

Kerry Max Cook walked off death row in 1997, but he was never officially exonerated. At least not yet. He just filed a DNA motion he hopes will clear his name.

Investigating the Prosecutors

Jan 21, 2013 By Michael Hall

What will state supreme court chief justice Wallace Jefferson do about Ken Anderson, the DA who sent an innocent man to prison? Based on these clues, Anderson is in for the fight of his life. 

Fed Up!

Jan 21, 2013 By Michael Hall

Sure, Texas’s criminal justice system is tough. But as Fort Worth inmate Richard LaFuente could tell you, the federal criminal system is even tougher.

Web Exclusive
Another Tale of Wrongful Conviction?

Jan 21, 2013 By Michael Hall

Richard LaFuente, who was convicted of murder in 1986, has steadfastly proclaimed his innocence for more than twenty years. Now he has some unlikely support in one person—the victim's own sister.

Feature
Free Richard Lafuente!

Jan 21, 2013 By Michael Hall

They say he ran over Eddie Peltier with his El Camino on a North Dakota Indian reservation in 1983. He says he didn’t do it, and the evidence is overwhelmingly on his side—yet the Plainview native has languished in federal prison for twenty years. It’s long past time for justice to be done.

The Backwoods Drive

Jan 21, 2013 By Michael Hall

ROUTE: Uncertain to JasperDISTANCE: 140 milesNUMBER OF COUNTIES: 6WHAT TO LISTEN TO: Jim Reeves’s 
“Welcome to My World” If you want to see, smell, and taste the Deep South, look no further than East Texas. Start your drive in Uncertain, but before you even get behind the…

Trials and Errors

Jan 21, 2013 By Michael Hall and Jake Silverstein

Over the past two decades Texas has exonerated more than eighty wrongfully convicted prisoners. How does this happen? Can anything be done to stop it? We assembled a group of experts (a police chief, a state senator, a judge, a prosecutor, a district attorney, and an exoneree) to find out.

The Paper Chase

Jan 21, 2013 By Michael Hall

Houston attorney Bill Kroger and state Supreme Court chief justice Wallace Jefferson are on a mission to rescue thousands of crumbling, fading, and fascinating legal documents from district and county clerks’ offices all over the state. Can they save Texas history before it’s too late?

Feature
Who Killed Mary Eula Sears?

Jan 21, 2013 By Michael Hall

In 1982 a man named Wayne East was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of one of Abilene’s most prominent citizens. To this day, he maintains his innocence. And one member of the victim’s family believes him.