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For the first time ever, according to legal experts focused on the subject, a prosecutor who deliberately sent an innocent man to prison by withholding evidence is himself going to be jailed.
More than two decades after the Texas trial that sent an innocent man to prison for what would have been the rest of his life, the ex-prosecutor who led the effort is finally spending time behind bars. After pleading guilty to intentionally failing to disclose all the facts in the case, Anderson is set to be punished for “criminal contempt.” Critics say the “punishment” — 10 days in jail, 500 hours of community service, a small fine, and the loss of his law license — amounts to little more than a slap on the wrist considering the severity of the crimes. However, despite the mild consequences, lawyers working to secure justice nonetheless celebrated the historic decision to hold an official responsible. According to court documents and the Innocence Project, which works to free prisoners whom it believes have been wrongfully incarcerated, Anderson withheld crucial evidence in the case that almost certainly would have set Morton free if it had been presented. Among the most important facts that the ex-prosecutor failed to disclose: Statements from the only eyewitness to the murder saying that Morton was not the culprit.