Well, let’s just all take a moment and reflect in thanks that Rick Perry was in no way connected to this case, or perhaps exculpatory evidence like DNA proving his innocence would be removed as a roadblock between Michael Morton and the execution chamber.
57-year-old Michael Morton was 32 when his wife Christine was beaten to death in the family’s home. The Innocence Project took on Morton’s case long after he’d been thrown in prison for life because- new lawyers for Morton say- the prosecution deliberately secreted exculpatory evidence to secure a conviction. (For instance, Morton’s toddler son was present at the scene of the crime and said the killer was not his father.)
Morton was released on his own recognizance (although he really should have been released to the Vegas strip with a pocket full of $100s) and will live with his parents- who are thankfully still living- after being freed from jail. One of the founders of the Innocence Project, Barry Scheck, worked on Morton’s case and commented on the outcome:
“There were serious and grave acts of prosecutorial misconduct, and we really need to get answers to what happened.”
The case’s prosecutor, Ken Anderson, is now a state judge and did not comment on the Morton case. At the time, Anderson strongly contended that Morton had beaten his wife to death after a 32nd birthday dinner because she refused to have sex with him.
Williamson County Dist. Atty. John Bradley commented on the case’s outcome- Bradley, appointed by Gov. Rick Perry, has in the past opposed wrongful conviction investigations. Bradley said:
“As a prosecutor, it’s my job to make sure justice is served,” Bradley said. “Sometimes it involves punishment, and sometimes it means releasing people.”
Of his new freedom, Morton commented:
“There are a lot of things I can’t say right now because I still have this thing hanging over my head… I know there are a lot of things you want to ask me. I will say this: Colors seem real bright to me now, and the women are real good-looking.”
Bradley claims he will work with the Innocence Project to investigate the allegations of misconduct.