Friday, October 14, 2011

Texas Man, Wrongly Convicted of Murder, Exonerated After 23 Years In Prison

Some prosecutors need to exchange places with the innocent that they framed and imprisoned.  Michael Morton, of Austin, Texas, is a case in point.  After Morton left for work one day in 1988, an intruder came into his house and beat his wife to death with a club.  The police blamed the crime on Michael Morton, even though the real perpetrator had stolen his wife's credit cards and checks and used them in the days following her death.  These facts, among others, were hidden from the defense attorneys representing Morton.

The AP has the story, and relates:
New DNA testing linked the killings of Debra Baker and Christine Morton to another man with a prison record in several states. Police have not publicly identified the suspect, whom they are trying to locate, but his genetic links to both slayings led to Morton's release from prison last week after nearly 25 years behind bars, and his formal exoneration by an appeals court on Wednesday.

But lawyers for the Innocence Project, a New York-based group that spent years fighting for DNA testing in Morton's case and the release of his police case files, say he likely never would have been convicted if the prosecutor in charge of the case hadn't withheld key evidence from the defense, including his mother-in-law's statements.
To see what his mother-in-law said, read the whole article here.

What this proves is that the police and the prosecution are not infallible, and in some cases, downright dishonest.  Prosecutors are under pressure to find the criminals and prosecute them, lest they bear the wrath of the public and the voters.  Sometimes these prosecutors delude themselves and prosecute the innocent and the latters' lives are ruined (or ended) in the process.

That was the case of Amanda Knox, too.  If you ever sit on a jury, try to actually believe the maxim that one is "innocent until proven guilty."

Hat tip:  View From  the Right

1 comment:

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