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Today in Texas, former prosecutor and judge Ken Anderson pled guilty to intentionally failing to disclose evidence in a case that sent an innocent man, Michael Morton, to prison for the murder of his wife. When trying the case as a prosecutor, Anderson possessed evidence that may have cleared Morton, including statements from the crime's only eyewitness that Morton wasn't the culprit. Anderson sat on this evidence, and then watched Morton get convicted. While Morton remained in prison for the next 25 years, Anderson's career flourished, and he eventually became a judge.
Fortunately, there is something very simple that judges across the country can do to eradicate this problem. All judges, state and federal, should issue the standing "ethical rule order" proposed by the Hon. Nancy Gertner and Innocence Project Co-Founder Barry Scheck. The proposed order requires prosecutors to disclose, pre-trial, all evidence that "tends to negate the guilt of the accused or mitigates the offense." Details regarding the proposed ethical rule order, including all the justifications supporting it, can be found in this article by Barry Scheck.
reply to post by Bob Sholtz
Man I really feel like I'm missing something here. I will be happy if someone debunks.
Withhold evidence to help your case against someone and it seems like you should be in a lot deeper nasty than 10 days in jail and some community service. Regardless of the time they end up serving.
ETA: I forgot one of the most important parts. To convict a DA, you must prove malicious intent in most, if not all, states. DA's, like judges, enjoy a very high immunity to prosecution. It is extremely rare. The headline may be a but exaggerative, but not as much as you may be inclined to think.
You know what? I am LIVING this nightmare, right now, and have been, with my son. The entire county court system is in on it
at one point in jail i was even accused of terrorism! they literally said "you know too much law, you MUST be affiliated with a terrorist group". i am not kidding.